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Home > News > Report

Quattrocchi revelations may embarrass Sonia: BJP

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 24, 2007 18:02 IST

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CBI team to Argentina to extradite Quattrocchi
Arun Jaitley, General Secretary of Bhartiya Janata Party, accused the government of India of deliberately hiding the arrest of controversial Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi for 17 days with an eye on the Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur elections.

"The truth of the Bofors bribery case keeps reappearing to haunt the guilty and their political patrons. The United Progressive Alliance has persistently attempted to bury the case with delays in investigation. The nation would not forget that Quattrocchi was Mrs Sonia Gandhi's gift to India," Jaitley said.

Quattrocchi was arrested in Argentina on 6th of Feburary but the CBI revealed his detention after the information was leaked to the media by Interpol headquarters to the media, Jaitley claimed. "We can understand the political compulsions of Congress in holding back information but the CBI the agency which issued red corner alert against one of the accused in a Bofors pay off case is something that we cannot understand. CBI's credibility has taken a beating under UPA regime in Quattrocchi's case," he said.

He wondered if the government of India was really serious in bringing Quattrocchi to India as it is being said that India has no extradition treaty with Argentina. "India had no extradition treaty with Portugal and yet we were able to bring Abu Salem to India to stand trail for the offences committed by him," he said.

"The BJP is of the view that the absence of such treaty is not fatal to his being brought back. Corruption is an offence both in Argentina and India. The CBI and the ministry of external affairs can certainly extradite Quattrocchi if it honestly tries. His extradition and revelations of full truth will embarrass Sonia Gandhi. The nation is waiting for an answer," he said.

Quattrocchi was agent of A E Services which worked as the middleman and it swung the Bofors gun deal during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as prime minister in 1986. He also swung many other deals and cornered commission in crores of rupees. He fled the country during the last stages of Narasimha Rao's tenure as prime minister of India.

CBI has time till March 5,2007 to file an application in the court for extradition of Quattrocchi according to the provisions of the Argentine constitution. BJP plans to rake up this issue in parliament when it meets again on Monday.