A single attempt of the CBI to get Bofors kickback case accused Ottavio Quattrocchi extradited from Argentina in 2007 made a dent of over Rs 40 lakh to the exchequer.
The agency sent two of its senior officials twice to get the elusive Italian businessman from the Latin American country in 2007 but failed in its attempt as it could not produce proper legal documents before the court there.
CBI, which faced flak for its unsuccessful attempts to bring Quattrocchi to India for standing trial in the case, spent Rs 40.14 lakh on the trips to Argentina on two officials which includes expenses on their visits, fees of the local counsel, translation charges, transportation and expenditure on boarding and lodging, an RTI reply from the agency says.
RTI applicant Abhishek Shukla had sought the details of all the foreign visits made by CBI teams during the probe of Bofors kickback case along with the expenditure but the agency did not give any details other than the Argentina visit.
“During the last five years (since January 2005), a team of two CBI officers had made two trips to Argentina in the year 2007 for 25 and eight days respectively in connection with the extradition of Ottavio Quattrocchi from Argentina in Bofors case,” the agency said in its reply.
The CBI, which started the probe on January 22, 1990 after registering the case, did not give details about the all visits saying “the information pertains to more than 20 years and it may not be possible to furnish the same as it would disproportionately divert the resources of CBI“.
Quattrocchi, who was facing an Interpol warrant, was held in Argentina on February 6, 2007. The agency tried to extradite him and presented its case before the local court.
The CBI sent the then Special Director M L Sharma and Director of Prosecution S K Sharma to Argentina after Quattrocchi was held by the authorities there.
The local court there refused to permit extradition saying that agency did not produce proper documents for the same. Reportedly, the agency had to shell out Quattroccchi’s legal expenses as well.
However, the agency did not give any separate details of legal expenses paid by it for Quattroccchi in the RTI reply.
Quattrocchi was earlier detained by Malaysian authorities in 1999. Even then the CBI failed to secure his custody but the reply did not give any details of that trip undertaken by the agency officials to Kuala Lampur.