ED not opposed to AgustaWestland accused Rajiv Saxena's bail plea, says he is cooperating
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday told a court it was not opposing the plea of Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena seeking bail on medical grounds as he was cooperating in the AgustaWestland deal probe. Saxena may, according to sources, turn approver in the case, though he has not moved any application in this regard yet.
Special Public Prosecutor D.P. Singh asked Special Judge Arvind Kumar to consider Saxena's bail plea sympathetically as he was co-operating in the investigation and has disclosed many names during his custodial interrogation. However, the court said that the ED made a "vague" reply and asked why initially it sought his custodial interrogation when he could join the investigation without being arrested.
The prosecutor replied that Saxena had not appeared before the agency despite repeated summons and was therefore arrested. The court then asked authorities concerned to file Saxena's medical report by Thursday when it will again hear the case.
Seeking bail, Saxena said he was suffering from radiating back pain, numbness and heaviness in legs, neck pain and other ailments. He also told the court that he has been co-operating with the investigators in the case. The court had listed the matter for hearing his bail plea on February 13.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) security agencies picked up Saxena from his Dubai residence on January 30 and extradited him to India later that night, along with corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar. According to the ED, in connivance with lawyer Gautam Khaitan, Saxena provided a corporate structure across the globe to launder money for payment to various political leaders, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force officials to influence the contract for supplying 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.
A Delhi court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against Saxena after he did not join the investigation despite repeated summons. Saxena's name was mentioned in a charge sheet filed against his wife, Shivani, who has been out on bail after being arrested by the ED.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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