The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CBI not to make Salem approver

New Delhi, Feb. 4: The CBI has decided against making Abu Salem an approver.

According to an agency source, CBI officials felt that making the don an approver would deal a blow not only to the agency’s image but also to the morale of its officers who have braved death threats to extradite Salem.

“Besides us, the ministry of external affairs, the home ministry, central security agencies, Interpol and the Indian embassy in Lisbon had worked hard for nearly three years to extradite Salem from Portugal along with his girlfriend Monica Bedi even when there was no extradition treaty between the countries. All these efforts cannot be allowed to go in vain,” said a senior CBI official.

Officials also say they have clinching evidence against the don to nail him in court and get the maximum sentence possible, which could be imprisonment up to 25 years, according to the terms Portugal had set before allowing his extradition.

The main charge against Salem is that he headed the pack of criminals who arranged the supply of RDX that was used to trigger the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai.

There are six other cases against the don and Lisbon has given India the green signal to put him on trial for them.

“Hypothetically speaking, even if Salem becomes an approver, we do not have much to gain. We have already taken out most of the information from him and there is no reason to believe that more would come,” said the CBI source.

There is also no move to make Monica an approver as she does not know much about Salem’s underworld network and its modus operandi, sources said.

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