Soni’s bail plea dismissed (he is not the prime accused)

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 13 August 2015 20:15 IST

The special court dealing with corruption case of Louis Berger bribery today dismissed the first bail application, of hawala operator Raichand Soni.

Following this would be the order on the anticipatory bail application of former chief minister Digambar Kamat, either tomorrow or on Monday.

The special court may also give the order on the bail plea of former minister Churchill Alemao, the hearing of which began today, along with Kamat’s bail plea.

The Dubai-based hawala operator’s bail application was heard by the special court at Panaji, headed by judge B P Deshpande.

Soni was arrested on 7 August in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case.

He has been in the police custody since then.

Soni would be produced in the court tomorrow as his remand to police custody expires.

The crime branch of Goa police had told the court, during the hearing, that Soni is still not revealing who gave him money to transfer to Goa, supposedly to pay as bribes to Goa’s minister and government officials.

Officials of Louis Berger International Inc. have already admitted before the Department of Justice at New Jersey that bribes of Rs six crore were paid to ‘a’ minister and government officials in Goa.

Soni is charged of transferring the bribe money from USA to India through hawala operation.

He has already admitted of having delivered the money to Louis Berger officials in Goa, on several occasions.

The police have termed Kamat and Alemao as the main conspirators in the bribery case, while Soni is comparatively a secondary accused.

With the court dismissing his bail plea after hearing, eyebrows are raised about what would be the fate of the bail pleas of the ‘prime accused’ in the case – the former CM and the former minister.  

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