After a communiqué from CBI to take off Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi from its red-corner notice, the Interpol has removed his name form its list. Quattrocchi is an accused in the Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff and he was put in the red corner notice at India’s behest.
The decision to withdraw the 12-year-long Interpol red corner notice issued against Quattrocchi was taken after the legal opinion from Attorney General Milon Banerjee, who, in his opinion sent to the CBI, describes notice as “a continuing embarrassment.”
“The case has been under trial in the courts since 1999. CBI has taken action on the basis of legal advice of the highest order. We will inform the competent court on the next date of hearing (April 30, 2009),” said Harsh Bahal, CBI spokesman.
In the his opinion, Banerjee writes: “The CBI is under an obligation to have the matters set right at the Interpol level as there is no basis on which the RCN can continue…I am of the firm opinion that immediate action should be taken to withdraw the Red Corner Notice. “
The Italian businessman’s counsel had sought the removal of notice in October 2008.
Reacting to the CBI’s decision, BJP senior leader L K Advani lambasted on CBI for dropping Quattrocchi from Interpol’s notice list and even went on to demand an inquiry into the agency’s role during the last five years.
“This is a serious decision. It is not a question of Quattrocchi alone but the entire role of the agency during the last five years, which should be probed. It is a very serious issue.
The CBI and the Union government, whose term is to expire in three weeks, is likely to draw intensive criticism from its political opponents during the Lok Sabha elections on the 12-year-long issue.