'CBI fooling Indian people on Bofors'

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New Delhi, Sept 27: Ridiculing CBI's claim of sincere efforts to unearth the Bofors pay-off scam, Swedish principal investigation officer has said the Indian investigating agency was fooling the people of India as it had neither properly sought cooperation nor did it ever cooperate.

Claiming that the CBI officials met him only once, that too for a mere 20 minutes, in the last 20 years of investigation into the high profile defence scam, Principal Investigator in Sweden Sten Lindstrom said all through the agency was asking the same questions over and over again.

''Yes I have a feeling that was the case sometimes...,'' he said when asked whether he thought the agency was fooling the people of India while adding that ''they did not ask anything that looked like that they were making an active investigation.'' On cooperation by the CBI in investigating the case, he said that in a case like this, one needed a partner, someone whom you could communicate with and ask how things stood in the other country, but they never got any contact nor any person or address.

''We tried to cooperate but we really didn't get any answer. And it was puzzling because we had a feeling that this case went from one person to another. Almost everytime... it was answered by a different person. I never got in touch with one person whom I could phone or fax...,'' said the Swedish officer in an interview to Indian news channel.

On the sincerity of the CBI to investigate the case, he said, ''They had a copy of a newspaper which had published documents of the Swedish national bank and they wanted to know if that were authentic. We said we can show them originals and they said thank you and went.''

Confirming that money was paid in the Bofors deal, including to Indian political leaders, Mr Lindstrom said several persons and several organisations were paid, including Mr Quattrocchi.

''I am convinced money from the gun deal went to Switzerland and distributed to persons linked to the Gandhi family. The reason they got money... was their link to the Gandhi family. I can't see any reason for Mr Q to receive money from Bofors for any other reason.'' The Swedish investigator, however, conceded that there was no direct evidence against the Gandhi family.


UNI

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