Abu Salem's confessional statement was voluntary: Witness

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Mumbai, Jul 3 (UNI) A retired top CBI officer who was one of the witnesses in 1993 blast case, today confirmed that the confessional statement of extradited gangster Abu Salem, was voluntary and recorded before him as per the accused's wish and will.

Deposing before TADA Judge D U Mulla, retired deputy inspector general of CBI O P Chatwal in his examination by public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam, said that on November 19, 2005 one of the CBI officers Raman Tiyagi, who was the investigating officer, produced Abu Salem before him and said Salem wanted to make a confessional statement on his own.

After hearing this, he had asked Salem whether he wants to make the statement voluntarily, to which he had said yes. ''I had asked him to think once again and then give his statement after 24 hrs,'' the witness said.

Mr Chatwal said after 24 hrs, when Salem was produced again, he asked him the same thing and only after that his statement was recorded, which was as per his wish and will.

To a question, the witness said after the recording of statement, it was read out to him and he had signed on it in his presence.

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