New Delhi, Jan 16: The BJP today alleged that the CBI was involved in a "Save Quattrocchi" operation initiated at the behest of UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. "The revelation before the Supreme Court in the matter of fugitive Quattrocchi is a testimony to the planned sabotage enacted by the CBI at behest of Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi," a BJP spokesman alleged, adding the CBI's consistent failure had helped Quattrocchi get release from the Argentinian court and enabled him to go back to his country.
The party alleged that first the CBI failed to submit before the court the documents to the Argentinian authorities required under the Argentine Law, then it failed to submit even the Indian court's order of arrest dated January 25, 1997, which was the very basis of India's effort to get Quattrocchi's extradition. It also did not submit the documents to Argentinian court for securing the extradition, it said. Besides, the CBI also did not submit the pertinent legal grounds, necessary to proceed with the extradition order, the BJP alleged.
Describing the CBI's excuse as "laughable" that it could not get the official translated copy of the Argentine court order even after five months of the Supreme Court order in this regard, the party alleged that all this vindicated its charge that the government through CBI was working to help the Italian fugitive businessman, a prime accused in the Bofors payoffs case.
The BJP also alleged that the CBI, at the behest of the UPA Government, did not reveal the arrest of Quattrocchi in Argentina on February 6, 2007. Neither did it inform the Supreme Court, nor did it make it public until he was granted bail on February 23, 2007, the party alleged.
The Government, the BJP alleged, never tried to get his extradition even after he was granted bail but ensured "his unconditional release" from Argentina.
The party also alleged that the Argentine Court allowed an automatic appeal against the June 8 order but Indian authorities did not "allow the Argentine counsel to proceed" on the matter.
The party also reiterated the charge that the Government had earlier helped Quattrocchi "defreeze his London bank accounts and withdraw Rs 22 crores.