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Quattrocchi leaves Argentina for Italy

India fails to appeal against court’s decision on extradition



Ottavio Quattrocchi

Buenos Aires: Bofors case accused Ottavio Quattrocchi left Argentina as a free man on Wednesday after a six-month legal battle following India’s failure to appeal against a court’s decision not to extradite him.

The 69-year-old businessman left for his home in Milan, Italy. His passport was returned by Argentinian authorities last week.

Speaking from the airport, Mr. Quattrocchi told PTI that he was happy to be on his way home and was looking forward to spending time with his family.

Information on the case has been closely guarded since the failure of the CBI’s extradition attempt in Eldorado on June 8. Neither the CBI nor its Argentinian prosecutors got orders for appealing in the Supreme Court against the lower court’s order not granting the Indian plea for Mr. Quattrocchi’s extradition, sources said.

Indian Ambassador Pramanesh Rath said through a spokesperson that he would not like to comment on the issue.

Mr. Quattrocchi was detained at Iguazu airport in Argentina’s Misiones province on February 6 on the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol at CBI’s behest.

The businessman, who had earlier successfully fought a similar extradition battle against Malaysian authorities, maintained that he had been “a victim of an obsessive persecution” by Indian investigative authorities.

Mr. Quattrocchi said:

“The CBI has gone out of its way, breaking every rule of honest conduct to go after me in what has clearly been a political persecution.

“This is demonstrated by the fact that I have won every single case in a court of law in connection with the Bofors case, and this continued persecution makes you think that at the end, they are only interested in kicking up a media frenzy for ulterior motives.” — PTI

CBI to pursue case

New Delhi Special Correspondent reports:

Well-placed CBI sources have said the agency’s case against Mr. Quattrocchi will still remain “alive” and it will pursue it.

The sources said the Government would have to decide if it still wanted to pursue extradition proceedings and if the Interpol’s Red Corner Notice should be invoked against him.

Congress stand

The Congress party said all legal processes should be invoked and enforced against Mr. Quattrocchi. Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the Congress had nothing to say in respect of a detailed judicial process in a foreign country which resulted in the Bofors case accused being set free.

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