Monday, August 13, 2007

All ten accused get clean chit in Lauda Air Case

The Special Court Monday gave a clean chit to all ten accused including former Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Taruni Dutt in a seven years old controversial Lauda Air lease deal.
A division bench of judges Bhoopdhoj Adhikary, Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana acquitted all six accused, citing lack of evidence to prove them wrong.
In its decree, the bench has noted that “the (former Royal) Nepal Airlines Corporation has the right to take planes on lease and that there is no proper procedure” on acquiring aircrafts on lease.
The then RNAC Executive Chairman Hari Bhakta Shrestha and the Board members Tirthalal Shrestha, Gaurinath Sharma, Siddharaj Joshi, executives U P Upadhyaya and Pushkar Wagle, and the executives of Vienna-based airlines Andrea Molineri and Otmar Lenz are other those receiving the clean chit.
On May 24, 2001, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of the Authority (CIAA) had moved the Special Court, charging the ten persons with embezzling Rs 389 million through the 18-month lease deal.
The CIAA had also admonished then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in connection with the case.

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