Special Correspondent

Paper must also explain the twin delays by the CBI

CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Friday urged the Centre to table in Parliament a white paper on the "Quattrocchi affairs" starting with his detention in 1993 by the Central Bureau of Investigation at the Delhi international airport and then being permitted to leave the country.

Talking to journalists here, Dr. Swamy said the white paper must also explain the twin delays by the CBI, first between February 8, 2007, when Interpol Buenos Aires reconfirmed its February 7 message that Ottavio Quattrocchi had been taken into custody, and February 13, when the CBI wrote to the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) for a copy of the Argentinean Extradition Act, when in fact Interpol on the same date had already sent the CBI a copy of the Act. The Government must answer why it took six days for the CBI to write to the MEA for the public document that was available at Argentinean Embassy in Delhi.

Second, the delay between February 13 and February 22 for the CBI to hold a meeting with the Legal and Treaty Division of the MEA when the said meeting should have been held on February 7 or at latest by February 13, especially when it was known that Mr. Quattrocchi was in police custody in Argentina not in the Bofors case but on a different case which was bailable.

Despite knowing that Mr. Quattrocchi could be bailed out why did the CBI delay for so long? Was it to enable him to escape again, Dr. Swamy asked.

Parliament must, therefore, summon the Attorney-General and the CBI Director and ask them to depose in open Parliament proceedings on the whole affair, he said. On the Union budget, Dr. Swamy said it ignored the basic problems facing the economy. All that the Finance Minister had done was to put together some proposals for various interests.