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Team Anna alleges graft in defence deals

NEW DELHI: Team Anna on Thursday released a set of documents suggesting linkage of Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi with defence firms and Foreign Minister S M Krishna giving a favourable report for

Published: 27th April 2012 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:32 PM   |  A+A-

AnnaKejriBhush_AP_b

(AP file photo)

NEW DELHI: Team Anna on Thursday released a set of documents suggesting linkage of Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi with defence firms and Foreign Minister S M Krishna giving a favourable report for an Israeli telecom company at the behest of arms dealer Abhishek Verma.

Son of Congress MPs Shrikant Verma and Veena Verma, Abhishek has been in dock over the commission in Scorpene Submarine deals. Team Anna alleged that he had been striking deals with foreign firms in lieu of winning defence contracts for them. However, many of the deals mentioned in the documents like helicopters for the Delhi police from Augusta Westland have not materialised.

In its statement, Kejriwal and Bhushan said the documents were received from a US citizen C Edmonds Allen, who claimed to have been managing the wealth amassed by Abhishek by facilitating defence deals.

“We are not sure about the authenticity of the documents received, but nonetheless the government should probe them to dig out the truth,” Team Anna added. An itinerary of foreign officials of Sig Sauer firm, which manufactures small arms, lists their meeting with Rahul Gandhi, ‘the scion of Gandhi family’, at his residence on December 6 last year. Without confirming if they have evidence about Abhishek Verma playing role in the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters by Defence Ministry, Kejriwal said, “When Abhishek Verma is an agent of Augusta Westland and when Defence Ministry’s policy does not allow existence of middlemen, what action has been taken against the agent and the firm.”

“Edmonds had contacted us to give the documents as he received no reply from the Indian investigating agencies like the CBI, ED and Defence Ministry despite sending them all the evidence,” Kejriwal added.

The documents also cast an aspersion on Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna. According to them, Verma arranged for a report in favour of an Israeli telecom company for rolling back  anti-dumping duty through Krishna, who visited Tel Aviv early this year.

However, a senior official in Krishna’s office rubbished the allegations. “They are just trying to tarnish Krishna’s image. He is a Foreign Minister and not Trade Minister. This issue never came up during the minister’s Israel visit,” said the official.

Team Anna threw its weight on Indian Army Chief General V K Singh and alleged that the government was conspiring against him for being honest.



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