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Bofors: Swiss bury case for lapse of time
April 21, 2005 19:00 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the Rs 64-crore Bofors kickbacks suffered a setback after Swiss authorities buried the case for "lapse of time."
This information was given by the Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply to Shri Adhalrao Patil Shivajirao in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, according to a Press Information Bureau release.
Transactions older than ten years cannot be probed under the Swiss laws and the Swiss authorities have informed in writing that facts of the Bofors case fell under the rule "lapse of time" and hence regretted its inability to offer further help.
Mukherjee said the Swiss took the stand in April last year when a CBI delegation met them.
However, the CBI officers were told that "should new facts emerge not covered by the lapse of time clause, the Swiss authorities would re-examine the matter."
The Swiss Government has rendered cooperation in the matter of execution of the Letters Rogatory issued in the year 1990 and 1998.
The kickback money was allegedly stashed away in Swiss banks and then transferred to various accounts and hence India had sent two letters rogatory, first in 1990 and another in 1998.
The Swiss Authorities expressed their inability to execute certain points of the Second Letters Rogatory of 1998 on the ground that transactions in question pertained to a period which is older than ten years and Swiss banks are obliged to keep their documents for a period of 10 years only, said the PIB press release.