Q off wanted list since Nov last year: CBI | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Q off wanted list since Nov last year: CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday informed a city court that the name of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, accused in the Bofors payoff case, had been removed from the agency’s list of wanted fugitives in November 2008 — and not in April this year — as suggested by some news reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 30, 2009 23:54 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday informed a city court that the name of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, accused in the Bofors payoff case, had been removed from the agency’s list of wanted fugitives in November 2008 — and not in April this year — as suggested by some news reports.

Contradicting reports that Quattrocchi’s name was removed in “undue haste” at the behest of the government during the last few days of its tenure, the CBI told the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court, “the Red Corner Notice was revoked on November 25, 2008, following the Attorney General’s (AG) opinion.”

The agency’s lawyer said, “The CBI received representations from Quattrocchi about the discontinuation of the Red Corner Notice in October, 2008.

The Interpol also informed the CBI about the expiry of the Red Corner Notice. In view of the fact that attempts to bring him to India from Malaysia and Argentina failed, the AG’s opinion was sought.”

The agency has sought two months to decide on the next course of action against Quattrocchi, following his name being withdrawn from the list of wanted persons.

Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra told the court that of the total eight accused in the 22-year-old case, three had died while Delhi High Court quashed charges against four others.

“On the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued in 1997, Quattrocchi was arrested in Malaysia and the CBI’s request for extradition was rejected by four courts there in 2002-03. Later he was arrested in Argentina in 2007, but again the Indian government’s request for extradition was rejected by the court,” the CBI counsel stated.

The court has fixed September 8 as the next date of hearing of the matter.

Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj also rejected the allegations that the government had acted in “unjustified haste” on the issue.