Advani slams Congress over Quattrocchi

Gandhinagar, April 28 (Inditop) The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) decision to remove Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, the lone surviving suspect in the Bofors gun payoff case, from its list of wanted persons reveals that the Congress did not think it was coming back to power, BJP leader L.K. Advani said here Tuesday.

Condemning the move, Advani said: “Manmohan Sigh’s party wanted to remove his name from the list. The decision to remove from the list indicates they think their party will not come back to power after the elections. I condemn the government’s decision.”

Addressing a press conference in his constituency, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate said: “Rajiv Gandhi’s party secured a majority in the 1984 elections but because of Bofors, it lost power in the next elections.

“Quattrocchi was considered close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and he was allowed to run away when (the P.V.) Narasimha Rao government was in power.

“Later, he was declared wanted by the CBI. He was arrested in Argentina, his accounts were defreezed and he was allowed to take the money and efforts were made to wind up the case.”

Advani also accused the Congress of using the CBI for the political purpose.

The case against Quattrocchi, known to be close to the late Rajiv Gandhi, who was prime minister in 1987 when the bribery scandal broke, and his wife Sonia, has taken tortuous twists and turns after he was named in a CBI chargesheet as the conduit for the Bofors bribe in 1999.

But he has has managed to evade interrogation.

The nearest the CBI came to him was in February 2007 when Quattrocchi was detained in Argentina on the basis of an Interpol warrant.

But the CBI took time in translating documents that were to be presented in the designated court there and also put up a half-hearted effort towards his extradition. It finally lost the case for his extradition four months later.