2G: Former Telecom Minister A Raja opens defence

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A Raja
New Delhi, Dec 22: After a month of protest against commencement of trial, former Telecom Minister A Raja today opened his defence with the cross-examination of key CBI witness Aseervatham Achary, who was his former additional private secretary.

Raja called off his protest in the wake of CBI filing its third charge sheet on December 12 against Essar and Loop and their promoters.

Achary's cross-examination was disrupted for a while after he told the judge about threat to his life from a man sitting in the courtroom. The man left the courtroom but was nabbed by Delhi Police sleuths from the court premises and produced before the judge and handed over to police.

At the very beginning of the trial which commenced on November 11, Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who is hearing the case, that he would not cross examine witnesses until CBI files its third charge sheet and makes a statement that its probe in the case was complete.

During the one-and-half month of trial in the case, six witnesses have already deposed and the cross-examination of Raja's ex-aide Achary is underway.

Achary, a prime witness in the case, had in his deposition accused Raja and others of being involved in the 2G scam and went on to state Raja's alleged long association with corporate honchos accused in the scam since his stint as environment minister in 2005.

PTI

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