British prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's [ Images ] close aide Iqbal Mirchi in connection with a case in which he was accused of threatening to kill a man, citing lack of evidence.
Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said on Tuesday that it has decided to discontinue the charges against Muhammed Iqbal Memon, also known as Iqbal Mirchi, who is wanted in India [ Images ] in connection with the 1993 Mumbai [ Images ] blast case.
"The Crown Prosecution Service keeps cases under continuous review. Following a review of the evidence in this case, a decision to discontinue these charges has been taken because the evidence received was not enough to provide a realistic prospect of conviction," the CPS said in a statement.
It noted that "if more significant evidence or information is discovered at a later date the decision to discontinue may be reconsidered".
Mirchi, believed to be a close associate of Dawood, was earlier charged and produced in the Redbridge Magistrates Court in the UK last month.
His extradition was being sought by India in connection with the Mumbai blasts case. He was charged with threatening to kill a 41-year-old man, identified as Nadeem A Kader who also lives in the Hornchurch area of Essex where Mirchi owns a six-bedroom house.
Earlier reports had said that Kader was a nephew of Mirchi. In a statement released through his solicitor, Mirchi said: "I am very grateful to the British Justice System for investigating these false allegations against me so expeditiously and discontinuing all proceedings against me."
Mirchi said allegations of threats to kill against him were motivated and also blamed the Indian media for portraying him in bad light.
"I have always protested my innocence and this has now been proven. I believe that the allegations of threats to kill against me were motivated by a conspiracy to blackmail me for money which has been unsuccessful," he said.
"I have been portrayed incorrectly by the Indian press for over twenty years without any evidence. I hope this matter will now bring an end to all malicious reporting against me. I am very thankful to god and happy that finally justice has prevailed," he added.