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Q may sue Interpol

He may be planning to sue Interpol for 'breach of rights under international law'.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2007 22:16 IST

As an Argentine judge prepares to begin hearings in the extradition trial of Bofors payoff scam accused Ottavio Quattrocchi, the fugitive Italian businessman appears to be planning to sue Interpol for 'breach of his human rights under the international law'.

The Argentine foreign office has cleared the 250-page long dossier submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the extradition of Quattrocchi. The case may go before the court of Judge Mariana Arjol who had denied Quattrocchi bail the first time around.

Once the papers reach the judge, both parties will be given five days to send their respective documents after which a hearing will be held within 15 days.

"The extradition papers are in order. They have reached the judge," Indian ambassador to Argentina Parmathesh Rath said from Buenos Aires.

Quattrocchi's lawyer Alejandro Freeland is, however, convinced that there is no case against his client. "Quattrocchi is incredibly annoyed at having been under suspicion for 20 years. He is currently looking into acting against those who are pursuing him," Freeland was quoted by some TV reports as saying.

Freeland claimed under Section 11B of Argentine law, a man may not be tried for the same crime twice. "The CBI is violating the international tenet," he alleged.

He argued that he was "very confident in his client's case and not worried about the prospect of a hearing" as he believes that the two Delhi High Court rulings, along with the judgements by Malaysian courts rejecting India's extradition request and the release of Quattrocchi's accounts in London last year, will ensure that the Argentinean judge will discard the extradition petition.

The CBI has yet to zero in on one Argentine lawyer out of the panel, lined up by the Indian mission, which will fight the legal battle for Quattrocchi's extradition.

Legal experts in Argentina have been quoted by some news reports as saying that it might take up to two years for India to get Quattrocchi extradited or the case to be decided.

To ensure extradition, Indian officials have to establish before the Argentine court that the fugitive Italian faces charges that are in compliance with the Argentine law.

India has agreed to help Argentina on a "reciprocal basis" in a similar case of extradition.

Quattrocchi, who has been accused by the CBI of receiving millions of dollars in commissions for helping to fix the $2.1 billion gun deal in the mid-1980s, was detained on February 6 near the Iguazu Falls in Argentina's Misiones province where he was holidaying with his wife.

He was later released on bail on February 23, but his passport was impounded to prevent him from leaving Argentina.