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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

More Q's Than A's

The CBI trips over itself in the latest Quattrocchi goof-up Updates

More Q's Than A's
More Q's Than A's
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
For the last 14 years, controversial Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, a key accused in the Bofors gun kickback case, has eluded the CBI. Ever since he caught a flight out of Delhi in 1993 (just ahead of a court order impounding his passport), Mr Q, as he is often referred to, has remained a mystery man. A spectre that blips on the political radar every now and then, sending waves of embarrassment washing over the Congress party and its president. Sonia Gandhi, it seems, will never be rid of Quattrocchi and his alleged links with her late husband, Rajiv Gandhi.

And it's not just her. Every time the Italian businessman's name hits the headlines, it also sends the CBI into a tizzy. The investigating agency has been blamed for sparing him, deliberately reacting slowly to Interpol alerts, even allowing Mr Q to get away. That said, successive governments, including the BJP-led NDA, have failed to net the man. So when Quattrocchi was picked up by the Argentinian police on February 6 while trying to enter the country, it opened a new chapter in the Q saga. The news was leaked much later to the Indian media and an embarrassed Manmohan Singh government was hard-pressed to explain why the arrest was kept under wraps for 17 days. Also, why it took the CBI nearly four weeks to dispatch a team to Argentina to press for Quattrocchi's extradition.

The investigating agency finally sent a two-man team to Buenos Aires. A fresh non-bailable warrant has been issued by a special CBI court to facilitate Quattrocchi's extradition. The team is carrying 400 pages of documents translated into Spanish and will appoint a local law firm to fight India's case which is being handled by a special prosecutor of the Argentinian government. Quattrocchi is currently out on bail although his passport has been impounded and he cannot travel...
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