I resigned in protest of Berger functioning: Mohanty

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 10 August 2015 13:40 IST

Satyakam Mohanty, former vice president of Louis Berger (India), has argued that he had resigned in protest of the functioning of the higher officials of the company and was not aware of any bribe paid to Goa’s ministers and government officials.

Mohanty, who was arrested in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case, is presently serving a 14-day judicial custody since 7 August.

He was summoned from Gurgaon, Delhi, where India’s Louis Berger office is located. He was arrested on 3 August.

Adv Majid Menon, while arguing for Mohanty’s bail application, has thrown the ball of bribery matter in the court of James McClung, the Louis Berger official.

McClung (59), based in Dubai, along with Richard Hirsh (61), another official based in Philippines, had admitted before US department of Justice that they had paid a bribe of around Rs six crore to ‘a’ minister from Goa and government officials.

McClung has also served as the senior vice president of Louis Berger operations in India in the past.

Adv Menon argued that Mohanty had resigned in 2012 from the vice president’s post of Louis Berger in India, because he was not satisfied with the way McClung and other higher officials were functioning.

McClung and Hirsch proved to have been involved in getting company projects in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait by paying total bribe of $3.9 million.

The crime branch of Goa police has already interrogated Mohanty thoroughly after seeking four-day police custody.

Mohanty had last week requested the special court to bail him out, the hearing on which began today.

Adv Menon argued that he has been sent to judicial custody since police do not need him any more for interrogation and he is not the accused in the bribery case.

The police however said his statement needs to be recorded before the magistrate under section 164 of CrPC.

Special court judge B P Deshpande ordered the police to record his statement today itself.

His bail plea would be now heard tomorrow.

Meanwhile, former PWD minister Churchill Alemao as well as A M Wachasundar, former project director of JICA-funded water supply and sewerage project, would be produced in the court today afternoon.

Alemao was arrested on 5 August and remanded to four-day police custody the next day. His remand expires today.

Wachasundar, the first accused to be arrested in this case on 27 July, is serving judicial custody after being in the police lock up.

Sources say that he was sent to judicial custody after agreeing to turn a state approver.

Former chief minister Digambar Kamat had moved for anticipatory bail, fearing arrest, the minute Wachasundar withdrew his anticipatory bail application.

The former project director had negotiated all the bribe deals for Kamat and Alemao, according to the police. 

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