Kuala Lumpur, Dec. 16 (Agencies): The night after Anees Ibrahim reportedly flew to Pakistan, Ottavio Quattrocchi landed in Italy.
Malaysia’s highest court today asked Italian businessman Quattrocchi to surrender his passport pending an Indian appeal for his extradition but the Bofors case accused claimed over cellphone that he was already in Italy.
The CBI tonight approached the Italian government with a request to arrest and deport Quattrocchi to Malaysia for the extradition trial.
The CBI has also requested the Malaysian authorities to ensure that the Italian businessman surrendered his passport as directed by the court of appeal.
Quattrocchi left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, a day after the high court dismissed India’s plea to review the session court’s rejection of his extradition. The sessions court had ordered the return of his passport.
In another near-simultaneous blow to India, a Dubai court had given bail to Anees, one of the prime accused in the Bombay blasts case and brother of gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Anees left Dubai on Friday and has reportedly reached Pakistan, from where he landed in the Emirate.
Justice Hamid Mohammad of Malaysia’s court of appeal today asked Quattrocchi to surrender his passport, India’s lawyer Steven Thiru said. Mohammed was hearing an Indian petition challenging the high court’s order.
Quattrocchi or his lawyers were not present in court when it heard the appeal Malaysia’s attorney-general had filed on behalf of India.
Quattrocchi told PTI on his mobile phone that he was in Italy. “My daughter wanted me to be here urgently,” he said. Quattrocchi said he left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and was unaware of today’s court order.
“I was supposed to travel for a long time and I was told (on Friday) that this is the final stage, and the order of the high court is final and conclusive. I am here only on vacation and will be back in Malaysia later,” he said.
“I have nothing to fear and I wanted everything to get over before I left Malaysia. That is why I waited so long.”
Quattrocchi’s lawyers, too, said their client left Malaysia on Saturday. “We are yet to receive the court order,” they said.
Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, deputy public prosecutor in the Malaysian attorney- general’s office, moved an ex-parte application this morning for an interim order against Quattrocchi.
Lawyers from Shook Lin & Bok, the local legal firm India has hired, were present at the hearing. “The court of appeal allowed us to watch the brief,” said Thiru, who was in court with senior colleague Porres Royan.
“Quattrocchi will have 10 days to appeal against the court of appeal’s order,” Thiru said. The order will be kept pending and will be served on Quattrocchi’s return.
India approached the court of appeal after the high court rejected its plea for review of the sessions court verdict. On December 2, the sessions court had said: “The offences of (cheating and corruption) alleged to have been committed by Quattrocchi in India are open to doubt.”
India appealed through the Malaysian attorney-general after it contended that the high court’s and the sessions court’s orders were passed without a proper hearing of its case for extradition.
The high court had said that India failed to establish whether the crimes Quattrocchi is accused of could be considered an offence under Malaysian law.