CBI questions Ramalinga Raju


Hyderabad : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday questioned B. Ramalinga Raju, the prime accused in the multi-crore Satyam fraud case, for over two hours.

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The disgraced founder and former chairman of the Satyam Computer Services Limited, who was discharged Saturday from a hospital, arrived at the CBI’s regional office before 10 a.m. and left around noon. He refused to answer any query from waiting journalists.

This is the first time in nearly a year that the CBI has questioned Raju, who has been avoiding interrogation and appearance in the court on grounds of ill-health.

Raju, who was granted bail by the Andhra Pradesh High Court Aug 18, was Saturday discharged from the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), where he was undergoing treatment for hepatitis C for the past 10 months.

The CBI Monday issued notice to Raju to appear before it. The court, while granting him bail, also laid down the condition that he should appear before the CBI whenever asked to do so and cooperate with the investigations.

The CBI officials questioned Raju to clear some “pending doubts” about the earlier interrogation in the Rs.14,000 crore scam. He was also questioned in connection with the diversion of Satyam funds abroad.

The CBI is likely to question the remaining nine accused who are also on bail.

The federal agency has already moved the Supreme Court, seeking cancellation of bail granted to Raju and others.

Raju, 56, had been in jail since January last year when he admitted to a Rs.7,800 crore accounting fraud in the Satyam.

While resigning as chairman of the firm, he confessed on Jan 7 that the company cooked its books resulting in an “inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balances” over several years.

The CBI told the court in November last year that the scam was worth over Rs.14,000 crore.