CBI reduces number of witnesses in Satyam case

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Hyderabad, Jun 15: The CBI, probing the multi-crore Satyam Computers accounting scam, has reduced the number of witnesses in the case to 220 as against 690, mentioned in the chargesheet following directions from the Supreme Court and to speed up the trial, a top official said.

Lakshmi Narayana, DIG, CBI said as per the apex court directives, the number of documents supporting the charge sheet which were about 3,067 have also been reduced to a thousand-odd.

"From our side, we are keeping up with the pace of the trial. We are trying our best to follow Supreme Court directions. So far, 212 witnesses have been produced in a court here," Narayana told PTI.

Overruling a decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court that had granted bail to B Ramalinga Raju, in the case, the apex court on October 26 last year, said the prime accused cannot approach court for bail until July 31, 2011.

Narayana said they are still awaiting replies for Letters Rogatory (LR), from four countries out of the total six.

The agency earlier had received replies from two countries-UK and Singapore. Based on the content of the replies from remaining countries, there may be fresh charges against the accused, the DIG said.

The CBI had sent LR, a formal request from a court here to a foreign court for judicial assistance, to six countries-USA, UK, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Singapore.

The CBI in its chargesheet alleged that Raju diverted funds to foreign countries. The new management of Satyam Computers, under Mahindras, also found that the fudging by Raju and his aides was not done just for manipulating the balance sheet to show non-existent revenues and profits, but also for making money by getting some projects awarded to the company outside its accounting system and thereby pocketing the revenues. 

PTI

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