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Scam-tainted Indian UN official granted bail

Last updated on: November 03, 2006 12:00 IST
A US court has granted bail to a senior Indian official on deputation to the United Nations, who was arrested for allegedly steering UN contracts to Indian firms in return for valuable real estate in Manhattan.

Sanjay Bahel, 55, who was the chief of the UN commodity procurement section, was freed on bail on a surety of $ 900,000 (Rs 4.1 crore) by US Magistrate Judge Douglas F Eaton on Thursday.

The Indian Defence Auditing Services official pleaded not guilty to an indictment in the court which had charged him with taking bribe in valuable real estate from businessman Nishan Kohli for steering contracts worth millions to his company.

Bahel was suspended by the world body in August on charges that he bent rules to help telecommunications consultations of India get contracts worth millions of dollars.

The investigation against Bahel was part of the inquiry set off by the Volcker Committee report in the Iraqi oil-for-food programme, which had cast doubts on contracts given by peacekeeping department of the United Nations.

Kohli has also been arrested in connection with the case from Miami.

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