Decision on dropping case against Quattrocchi Jan 4

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW DELHI - A city court Tuesday reserved its order till Jan 4 next year on a plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking to drop criminal proceedings against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors gun pay-off case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav has slated for Jan 4 the court’s pronouncement on the CBI plea after hearing the arguments of the CBI and lawyer Ajay Agrawal who has been opposing the withdrawal of the case.

Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, during the arguments, contended that continued prosecution of Quattrocchi was “unjustified” in the light of the various factors, including the failed attempts of the CBI to extradite him.

“I find that the continuance of prosecution against Quattrocchi will be unjustified. It is considered expedient in the interest of justice that the proceedings against him should not be continued and be withdrawn,” the CBI pleaded in its nine-page plea.

The court, however, accorded an opportunity to advocate Ajay Agarwal, who is opposing the CBIs move, either to file his written arguments or advance oral submissions before the date fixed for the order.

I will be submitting documents which will prove that the CBI is possessing a lot evidence against the 69-year-old Italian Businessman but still wants to withdraw the case declaring him (Quattrocchi) innocent, said Agarwal.

He said the court should dismiss the CBI application.

Quattrocchi is accused of receiving Rs.7 billion in illegal kickbacks in the Bofors gun purchase scandal of the mid-1980s.

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