'De-freezing Quattrocchi accounts CBI decision' | india | Hindustan Times
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'De-freezing Quattrocchi accounts CBI decision'

He told a press conference in New Delhi that it was a decision of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 09:24 IST

Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that his government did not have any role in the de-freezing of the accounts of Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Italian businessman accused in the Bofors gun kickback scandal.

He told a press conference at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi that it was a decision of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

"The CBI had taken the necessary steps following legal counsel," the prime minister said.

"It was not done at the behest of the government," he added.

The de-freezing of the accounts in London last month had created a political furore and reopened the controversy over the purchase of the Bofors howitzer guns.

According to the CBI, the manufacturer paid Rs 640 million (Rs 28 billion at 1987 rates) in kickbacks that allegedly was meant for Indian politicians and officials, and part of this money had been deposited in two of Quattrocchi's accounts in London.