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Swedish cop raises questions about Bofors

Last updated on: April 08, 2004 11:51 IST

The Asian Age on Thursday once again raised the Bofors payoffs issue by publishing an article by the Swedish principal investigator in the case.

The Rs 1,437 crore deal involved buying 400 155mm Howitzer guns from AB Bofors, a Swedish arms manufacturer. The deal was clinched in 1986 when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister. It was then alleged that kickbacks had been paid to Gandhi or individuals close to him before the deal was signed. However, on February 4, the Delhi high court cleared Gandhi in the Rs 64 crore payoffs case.

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In his article in The Asian Age Sten Lindstrom claims that the truth about the payoffs made to clinch the deal has not come out. He suspects Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi -- allegedly close to Rajiv Gandhi and his family -- channeled the money to his political friends in India.

He suspects Martin Ardbo, the key negotiator for Bofors, knows the entire truth. He also wants Gandhi's wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi questioned regarding the deal.

The Swede speaks of efforts to muddy the waters to mislead investigators. He said claims in India about there being no payoffs were made on the basis of a Swedish National Audit Bureau report in which the portions mentioning details of the payment had been blanked out.

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