news Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 05:30
Image source: Screenshot/ video   In his heart, President Pranab Mukherjee is apparently still a Congressman.   Ahead of a state visit to Sweden, President Mukherjee told Peter Wolodarski, Editor-in-Chief of the influential Swedish national daily Dagens Nyhetter (DN) that the Bofors scandal was a media trial, and that it has not been proven to be a scandal in a court of law in India.   In an interview given to Wolodarski at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the President said, "First of all - it is yet to be to be established that there was a scandal. No Indian court has established it. I was the defence minister of the country long after Bofors, and all my generals certified that this is one of the best guns we are having. Till today, Indian army is using it. The so-called scandal which you talk of, yes, in the media, it was there. There was a media trial. But I’m afraid, let us not be too much carried by publicity."   When asked if the Bofors scam was just a media scandal, he said, "I do not know. I’m not describing it, you’re putting that word. Don’t put that word. What I am saying is that in media it was publicised. But up to now, no Indian court has given any decisive verdict about the alleged scandal."   The Bofors-India weapons for bribes was a political scandal relating to kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India's 155 mm field howitzers. The scandal implicated several Congress politicians, including then Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. The scandal is also believed to be responsible for bringing down the Rajiv Gandhi government.   A ten year court battle between New Delhi and the arms dealers and beneficiaries in Swiss courts ended with India securing access to secret Swiss bank documents detailing the bribes. This was the first time in the history of Swiss legal assistance in criminal matters with India that such a document transfer was achieved.  
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