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Judge seeks to know crimes for which Quattrocchi is wanted
Vandana Saxena in Kuala Lumpur | December 06, 2002 04:02 IST
A Malaysian judge hearing a petition on the extradition of Ottavio Quattrocchi on Thursday sought to know from prosecutors the nature of crimes for which the Italian businessman is wanted in India before he could consider reopening of the proceedings.
Hearing a petition challenging a sessions court verdict rejecting the plea for Quattrocchi's extradition to stand trial in the Bofors payoff case, Kuala Lumpur high court judge Augustine Paul said the charges against the businessman were vague and India should have been more 'assertive in determining their legal stand'.
"We are all left in the jungle of Bofors," the judge said observing that New Delhi should at least have submitted 'tentative charges' against Quattrocchi.
Justice Paul adjourned the case for Monday when Quattrocchi's lawyers would present their arguments against the Indian appeal made through the attorney general of Malaysia.
Quattrocchi is expected to be present in the court on Monday.
During the arguments, Justice Paul said there was enough evidence that he (Quattrocchi) had received kickbacks, but that could be corruption. "Where is (the question) of cheating?" the judge queried.
Arguing India's case, the attorney general's counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said the sessions court decision rejecting the extradition plea was 'premature'.
The judge did not have jurisdiction to summarily dismiss the case without going into merits, he said.