Court accepts case closure against Quattrochi

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Ottavio Quattrochi
New Delhi, Mar 4: The Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) plea to close criminal case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi has been accepted by a Delhi court. Quattrochi is wanted in India for trial in the Bofors payoff scam.

The CBI sought to close the case on the basis of several failed attempts to extradite Quattrocchi.

The court said that the CBI's plea was allowed in national interest and had taken into account the Government's spending of Rs 250 crore to extradite the Italian businessman. Quattrochi has never ever appeared before any court in India to face trial in the Bofors payoff scam.

Quattrochi is alleged to be a middleman in the Bofors deal and under Indian laws, middlemen in defence deals is illegal. Hence he is subject to pay income tax for the bribe money earnings he made while living in India.

Opposition parties say that due to the involvement of middlemen, the Indian government spent an extra Rs 160 crore to buy the guns.

Bofors pay-off was a huge scandal in mid and late 1980s. Rajiv Gandhi, who was then the Prime Minister of India was alleged to be a party to profits in the kickback money. The scandal had engulfed names of many leading politicians and actors.

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