Louis Berger case: Kamat’s interim bail extended

Panaji, Aug 14 (IANS) A special anti-corruption court on Friday extended former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat’s interim bail in connection with the Louis Berger bribery scam. The order on his anticipatory bail plea will be delivered on August 19.

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), which was cleared in 2010 by a Congress-led coalition government.

According to the Goa Police crime branch, which is investigating the bribery case, Kamat was paid over Rs.1 crore in multiple installments to ensure that Louis Berger got the consultancy rights for the project.

Kamat has rejected the bribery allegations, claiming that he, as chief minister, never cleared the file and that the project was finalised by the PWD ministry. He has also lashed out at the police, accusing them of executing a political vendetta.

Kamat, in his anticipatory bail plea, has also offered complete co-operation with the investigating officials and has offered to surrender his passport to the court until the investigations are completed.

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