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CBI may question Quattrocchi in Italy

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January 18, 2006 00:24 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday indicated it will question Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in Bofors case, in Italy and said it would begin a fresh probe into the trail of Rs 21 crore that was parked in two bank accounts in London.

Highly-placed sources told PTI that the CBI would now be conducting a fresh inquiry to trail the money that was stashed in the two London bank accounts, which had remained frozen since July 2003.

The freeze on $1 million and 3 million Euro was withdrawn on January 11 by the British High Court after Additional Solicitor General B Dutta conveyed to Crown Prosecution Service of Britain that there was no evidence to link the money in the two accounts with the Bofors case.

The money has reportedly been transferred by Quattrocchi from the London accounts.

The sources said the CBI would do everythng possible to trace the movement of the money to the account, which included questioning Quattrocchi, if required.

Dismissing questions about whether this was in respone to Quattrocchi's statement on Monday that he would consider being questioned by CBI in Italy, the sources said the move was only to bring the case to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, Dutta, who visited London to communicate to the Crown Prosecution Service the non-availability of evidence linking the money with the Bofors scam, has reportedly told CPS that there was no longer a reasonable prospect of the case against Quattrocchi procceding to trial.

In its communication in December last year, the CPS had sent an e-mail to CBI Director (Prosecution) S K Sharma which stated - 'Mr Dutta conveyed his instructions on behlf of the Government of India, the Ministry of Justice and the CBI that no useful purpose will be served by maintaining the restraint order of July 25, 2003 as there is no longer any reasonable prospect of the case against Quattrocchi proceeding to trial'.

'I understand that this conclusion was reached following the judgement of the Delhi High court in May 2005 and the opinion of Additional Solicitor General K P Pathak, both of which have been endorsed by the Director of Prosecution, CBI', the e-mail of the CPS said.

Complete coverage: Bofors, the smoking gun

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