AgustaWestland: After saying witness may have died, ED cites a little birdie to say he is alive
New Delhi, July 31: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) changed the status of a witness from dead to alive in the AugustaWestland case. The ED said that a little birdie had told them that the witness K K Khosla may be available for questioning in a day or two.
The ED had on Tuesday said that the witness who has been missing for the past four months may have been killed. The submission was made before Delhi Court while opposing the anticipatory bail plea filed by Ratul Puri, who is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath.
The ED identified the witness as K K Khosla, a 73 year old man. He had retracted his statement and has been missing for the past four months, the ED Special Public Prosecutor, D P Singh told Special Judge Arvind Kumar.
The ED on Wednesday said that it might have Khosla somewhere today or tomorrow.
Khosla worked for Puri and had earlier recored a statement with the ED, where details relating to financial transactions were given. Singh further told the court that he did not destroy any documents. They feared him because of that and he is not to be found. I don't know what has happened to him. We have a genuine apprehension that he has been made to flee and not return. In May when the IT department conducted a search, he had retracted his statement and went underground, the ED further submitted.
While opposing the bail plea, the ED had said that Puri was an influential person. He is a flight risk and can tamper with the evidence. One witness, we believe must have been killed. We are unable to reach him. The family is in a state of shock and are too scared to even file an FIR, the ED also said.
Puri is under the scanner of the ED for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland deal through his companies. The ED says that it has traced transactions to the tune of one million dollars from Christian Michel to Puri's company.
Appearing for Puri, senior advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the ED's probe was politically motivated. After 25 meetings with Puri and 200 hours of questioning, they still land up at his house and call him an absconder.
The ED however countered the argument and said that Puri fled from their custody on Friday and went to the Lalit Hotel to meet his lawyers and prepare for anticipatory bail.