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Man held from Czech Republic for American woman’s murder in Thane remanded in judicial custody


A man wanted for the 2003 murder of an American woman in Maharashtra’s Thane district was on Saturday remanded in judicial custody by a local court till June 10, an official said.

Vipul Manubhai Patel was brought from Prague in the Czech Republic by a Thane police team on Friday after he skipped High Court hearings in the case and fled to Europe.

Patel is accused of killing Leona Swideski on February 8, 2003 on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway after taking money from her partner and co-accused Pragnesh Desai.

Patel and Desai were acquitted by a Thane court in 2004, but the state went in appeal against the order in the Bombay High Court.

While Desai, who failed to appear before HC, was held from Vadodara in Gujarat in March last year and granted bail, Patel had fled to the Czech Republic, after which a non-bailable warrant was issued against him, leading to his arrest in the European nation in November last year.

Patel was remanded in judicial custody by FCJM SS Ingle, the Kashimira police station official said.


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