Though Law Minister H R Bhardwaj on Thursday gave a virtual clean chit to Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Bofors case, the CBI, which investigated the case, is yet to change its mind.
While Bhardwaj defended the decision to de-freeze two bank accounts of the accused saying it was wrong to 'withold someone's money without any evidence,' the CBI informed a Delhi court last month that it was still on the lookout for the controversial Italian businessman.
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However, Additional SP (CBI) Keshav Mishra had stated before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Reena Singh Nag during the hearing of the matter last month that information regarding quattrocchi's present whereabouts had not been received even as the Interpol Red Corner notice no 5323/97 against him was still in existence. "As and when it is received, it will be submitted before the court," he had said. The matter is to be taken up by the court again on March 31.
Meanwhile, the Law minister told reporters that the two bank accounts of the Italian businessman in London were not frozen permanently. On a report in a television channel that Additional Solicitor General B Dutta had travelled to London to request de-freezing of the accounts, he said the government had to give legal opinion in international matters and did this in the Quattrocchi case as well.