NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) today opposed in a Delhi court the bail plea of businessman Gautam Khaitan, who was arrested in a money laundering case relating to the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, alleging he was involved in the transfer of "tainted money".
ED's prosecutors Naveen Kumar Matta and Vikas Garg claimed before Special Judge V K Gupta that Khaitan was "actively involved" in the illegal transactions relating to proceeds of crime and he was one of the beneficiaries of the entire deal.
In its response to Khaitan's bail plea, ED alleged that he was "involved in the activities connected with the proceeds of crime and it was very much in his knowledge that the money, transferred from M/s IDS Tunisia to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and further transferred to various other companies/account of Carlos Gerosa and Guido Haschke, was tainted money".
During the hearing on bail plea, ED alleged that they were probing the case in which 70 million Euros were paid as "kickbacks" and the agency was investigating the money trail and also the proceeds of crime.
Seeking bail, senior advocate P V Kapur and advocate P K Dubey, who appeared for Khaitan, argued that their client was a "soft target" and influential persons, who are also accused in the case, were not yet arrested by ED.
"The so-called bribe takers are in India and they have not been touched yet...My client is a lawyer and he is a soft target. They (ED) are completely silent as to why any other accused has not been arrested yet," Kapur said, adding, "the persons who are more influential are free even now".
He also argued that Khaitan was not involved in any money transaction and there was no possibility of his absconding or fleeing from justice if released on bail.
The court, after hearing the arguments from both the sides, reserved its order on the bail application for October 13 and extended till October 21 the judicial custody of Khaitan, the first person to be arrested in connection with the case.