21 September, 2020

Plot Chickens

The clumsy framing of charges against the Italian and his easy bail point to a deepening controversy

Plot Chickens
T HE day Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, chargesheeted in the Bofors case for allegedly receiving kickbacks, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur, the Central Bureau of Investigation preened and patted itself for notching a significant success in the infamous gun deal that has dragged on for a decade. But the way the case was handled in the Malaysian court and the ease with which Quattrocchi was granted bail has raised doubts about the cbi's CLaims.

Quattrocchi was arrested on the morning of December 19 from his office in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The charges pressed against him didn't ever mention Bofors and vaguely talked of "offences allegedly committed in India". Quattrocchi's lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, a highly respected Indian-Muslim lawyer, raised two preliminary objections in the sessions court: no details of the charges he faces in India had been furnished, nor proper documents about his client's extraditable offences. Quattrocchi, Abdullah argued, was not even given an explanation of the charges against him before the arrest.

The deputy public...



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