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Congress serves legal notice on ex-Bofors investigator
December 17, 2007 19:29 IST
The Congress has served a legal notice on Swedish investigator Sven Lindstorm over his remarks about party chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] in connection with the Bofors scam, asking him to retract his statement and apologise in writing.
In the legal notice, drafted by senior party leader and lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, the party has charged Lindstorm with having "intentionally and maliciously defamed the Indian
National Congress and in particular its head, president and leader Sonia Gandhi, by publishing false, incorrect and defamatory statements about them, including unwarranted innuendos and insinuations".
Questioning the former investigator's long silence since 1989, it said, "Your long silence is pregnant with meaning; equally significant is the timing of your belated and sudden eloquence on the subject."
The Congress said it was mystified as to how and why an independent investigator should make such comments which are "purely speculative, baseless, unfounded and unsustainable in fact and in law".
It has asked Lindstorm to withdraw and retract in writing all offending remarks made against Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi or any member of the Gandhi family or the Congress party, apologise in writing and desist from making such statements in future.
The party has also warned him of civil and criminal defamatory action, damages, compensation, specific injunctive relief as well as extradition.
"The person concerned, according to us, has exhibited a 'shoot and scoot' policy. After a gap of eight or nine months, the person concerned, a Swedish gentleman, shoots off some remarks about the Bofors episode," Singhvi told reporters.
"The first time we saw it was roughly 18 years or so after the Bofors incident. The timing is significant. He furnishes no material, no documents. Therefore, we want to send a clear message that you cannot take potshots," he said.
Singhvi said there was a gap between Lindstorm's interview to media in which the objectionable remarks were made and the notice as the party had to look for his contact address since he has retired from service.
"We are not going to let him off easily. We could even sue him if the need arises," Singhvi said.
In the TV interview in question, Lindstorm had said he wanted to interview the Congress president in connection with the case.
The interview further quoted him as saying that accused Ottavio Quattrocchi was paid money because of his links with the Gandhi family.