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Confusion in CBI over payment of legal fees to Q
June 13, 2007 02:19 IST
A CBI team in Argentina apparently kept the top brass in the dark about the order of a court in that country directing the agency to pay the legal fees of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in connection with a hearing on his extradition.
The CBI headquarters got into motion on Tuesday morning, when news started coming in from El Dorado that Judge Harichi Doi of the First Court there had ordered the prosecution to pay Quattrocchi's legal fees, a significant order as, under Argentine law, a judge issues such a direction only if he believes the defendant did not have a case to answer for.
CBI director Vijay Shanker was out of the country, and other top brass of the agency initially briefed reporters that the news was not correct.
Attempts by senior officials to get in touch with Director (Prosecution) S K Sharma and Superintendent of Police Keshav Sharma, who are in Argentina, yielded no results till late Tuesday evening.
However, a late night conversation between officials and the CBI team confirmed that the judge had passed an order to this effect on June 7, when he turned down India's plea to extradite Quattrocchi.
Embarrassed CBI officials said the order was in Spanish and this might have caused the delay in understanding its implications.
This reasoning from the CBI came despite the fact that the counsel provided by the Argentinian government and the one appointed by the agency were well versed in Spanish.