UK, Singapore respond to Letters Rogatory on Satyam scam

Hyderabad, Feb 6 (PTI) In a development that willfacilitate further unravelling of the multi-crore Satyam scam,the CBI has received a response from authorities in the UK andSingapore to Letters Rogatory (LOR) issued by the specialcourt trying the main accused here, a senior officer said.

LORs -- a formal request sent from the court of onecountry to a foreign court for judicial assistance -- weresent to six countries: USA, UK, Belgium, British VirginIslands, Mauritius and Singapore, seeking information inconnection with Satyam case.

The CBI has alleged in its chargesheet that B RamalingaRaju, the former chairman of the company and the prime accusedin the scam, diverted funds to foreign countries.

"Singapore and UK gave interim LORs and asked us for someclarifications and we replied to them. The communicationchannel is open. We are confident that we may get replies fromother countries too," the CBI official said on condition ofanonymity.

The new management of Satyam Computers, under TechMahindra, had found that Raju and his aides fudged theaccounts not only to show non-existent revenues and profits,but also to make money by getting some projects awarded to thecompany outside its accounting system and pocket the revenue.

Satyam''s management had said in a document released toexplain the financial restatement last year that since onlyRamalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju (who was thenmanaging director) had signatory powers on most bank accounts,it was possible that there were undisclosed bank accounts inforeign countries in which funds could have been diverted. TheCBI is confident that prosecution proceedings in the trialwill be completed by April, the official said.

The agency expects that the trial will be over by July31, as directed by the Supreme Court. The number of totalwitnesses -- 690 as per the chargesheet -- will be whittleddown to less than 300, the official said.

The special court here trying the case is currentlyrecording the statements of witnesses produced by the CBI.

"We are reducing the list of witnesses. Only importantwitnesses are being produced in the court. So far 110witnesses are completed. And 170 to 180 witnesses weredropped," the official said.

While cancelling the bail granted to B Ramalinga Raju,the Supreme Court last year directed the trial court toconclude its proceedings by July, 2011.

The apex court also pulled up the CBI for filing a bulkychargesheet and for adding too many witnesses.

Now, the number of documents has been reduced from theoriginal 3,067 to just over 1,000.

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