ED lets Hasan Ali slip
Alleged money launderer Hasan Ali Khan was granted bail on Friday after the enforcement directorate (ED) failed to produce a single document by which he could be prosecuted. Shailendra Mohan reports.mumbai Updated: Mar 12, 2011 00:47 IST
Alleged money launderer Hasan Ali Khan was granted bail on Friday after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) failed to produce a single document by which he could be prosecuted.
Special judge ML Tahliyani granted Khan bail on a cash bond of Rs 75,000 and two sureties of Rs 40,000 each.
But the court directed Khan to remain present in Mumbai for the next five days and report at the ED office between 11 am and 2 pm every day. He has been asked not to travel abroad and can be called for questioning by the ED at 48 hours’ notice.
Khan was arrested on Monday night under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The court also noted the investigators had not verified if the documents pertaining to his alleged black money of $8 billion were genuine.
“It is possible that the documents may have been created for some other purpose,” the court said.
Legal experts with experience in handling cases related to money laundering said the bail was a huge setback for the ED in its attempt to prosecute Khan.
Advocate Sujay Kantawala, who handles cases related to the PMLA, said, “The strong observations made by the court virtually demolish any chance of success at the trial, if any."
The worst moment for the directorate was when the court remarked the documents submitted by the agency were available even on the internet.
"It has been noticed by me that the documents are available on (the) internet, particularly on Wikipedia, so (they) cannot be considered confidential," the court remarked.
The ED, however, was relying on the 168 pages it submitted to the court, stating that they were confidential and that their contents should not be disclosed in the open court.
The ED alleges the accused has connections with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and had transferred $500 million to his account.