Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors corruption scandal. AP file photo
Controversial Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi — a key figure in the Bofors case, India’s first highly-publicised corruption scam — died at the age of 74 in Milan following a stroke on Thursday night.
“I can confirm that my father Ottavio Quattrocchi passed away quietly on Thursday night in the presence of my family. I will say only this much,” a member of the household, who identified herself as Quattrocchi’s daughter, told HT over the phone from Milan. His funeral will take place on Monday.
The Bofors charge sheet filed in 1999 by the CBI had named Quattrocchi, who was the Italian firm’s representative in India, as one of the accused in the case regarding the Rs. 64 crore payoffs for supply of Swedish Howitzer guns to the Indian Army. The Rs. 1,600 crore contract was clinched in 1986.
But on March 4, 2011, the Tis Hazari court in New Delhi discharged Quattrocchi from the payoffs case after allowing the CBI to withdraw prosecution against him, bringing to an end a major chapter in the 25-year-old Bofors saga. An application for withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi was filed by the public prosecutor on October 3, 2009.
The CBI had unsuccessfully tried to extradite Quattrocchi to India but it lost two extradition appeals, first in Malaysia in 2002, and then in Argentina in 2007.
Quattrocchi left India in 1993 to avoid being arrested.
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