Louis Berger case: Kamat questions probe officer’s seniority

Panaji, August 12 (IANS) Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat on Wednesday questioned the seniority of police inspector Dattaguru Sawant, investigating the Louis Berger bribery case, to probe an FIR filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Public Works Department minister Churchill Alemao has been already accused of allegedly threatening Sawant.

In a addition to his anticipatory bail application filed before a Special Court on Wednesday, Kamat, who has alleged a political witch-hunt against him, claimed that Sawant may be too junior an officer to probe the case in which four people, including Alemao, have been arrested.

“The entire investigation is being conducted by a police inspector Kamat has questioned, alleging that the police were trying to “falsely implicate” him in the case.

On Monday, the prosecution formally informed Special court Judge B.P. Deshpande in open court that the investigating officer was threatened by Alemao with dire consequences, sometime after his arrest last week.

Earlier, Kamat’s interim bail was extended until Thursday morning by a special court, which also directed him to appear before Crime Branch officials, investigating the case.

Kamat, along with former PWD minister Churchill Alemao and other government officials have been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger consultancy firm to secure implementation rights of a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa worth Rs.1,031 crore funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA), cleared in 2010 by a Congress-led coalition government.

Alemao, now former director of the JICA project Anand Wachasundar, then India head of Louis Berger Satyakam Mohanty and an alleged hawala operator Raichand Soni have been arrested in connection with the case.

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