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CBI officers reach Malaysia to push for Quattrocchi's extradition
Vandana Saxena in Kuala Lumpur | December 08, 2002 01:00 IST
A two-member Central Bureau of Investigation team arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to assist Malaysian lawyers in pressing India's case for the extradition of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.
The Kuala Lumpur high court is hearing an appeal against a sessions court ruling refusing to extradite Quattrocchi to India to stand trial in the Bofors gun deal scandal.
On Sunday, Deputy Inspector General Om Prakash Galhotra and Additional Legal Adviser Uma Shankar Prasad will meet local lawyers who are representing India's case to brief them. The case will come up before the high court on Monday.
At India's request, the Malaysian attorney general's office had sought a review of the sessions court verdict. The sessions court had rejected the plea for Quattrocchi's extradition saying India's case was too vague.
"The purpose of the visit is to brief the lawyers and to clear the confusion created by the opposition regarding the charges against Quattrocchi," Gahlotra said.
One of the points offered in Quattrocchi's defence was that there are no charges against him in India, but Galhotra said this needed clarification. "In the Indian legal system it is the court that frames the charges against the accused and that too in the presence of the accused," he said. The investigating agency only gives a report of its findings to the court, which then examines the case to decide whether charges are warranted.
In this case, in November 1999, a special judge's court had decided that there was enough evidence against Quattrocchi to frame charges and issued a warrant, but since he was in Malaysia the charges could not be framed against him, Galhotra said.
One of the Malaysian legal counsel for India said they would be discussing all possible arguments with the officials from New Delhi. "We will go through all possible arguments we may face on Monday with the CBI officers," Steven Thiru said.