Kanimozhi can go on Africa tour with Ansari

Kanimozhi can go on Africa tour with Ansari

DMK leader M K Kanimozhi has got the permission of a special CBI court to accompany Vice President M Hamid Ansari on his five-day official tour to Rwanda and Uganda later this month.

The Rajya Sabha member  is an accused in the multi-crore 2G spectrum allocation scam, along with former telecom minister A Raja and others, and has been facing trial for about six years. She is also an accused in a money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the 2G scam.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed Kanimozhi to travel as part of the vice president’s delegation from February 19 to February 24 following her plea, asking her to furnish a surety bond of Rs 2.5 lakh each in the two cases.

The court directed her to submit with it her itinerary, which contains details of her places of stay and telephone numbers during her tour.

The special CBI judge ordered his office to release Kanimozhi’s passport from the court’s custody, upon the condition that she will not tamper with “any evidence or try to contact any witness during her stay abroad.”

The CBI, in its reply to Kanimozhi’s petition, opposed her plea, contending that the court had earlier dismissed the application of another accused — Karim Morani — for permission to go abroad, on the ground that the case was at the stage of final arguments and therefore it was not proper to let him leave the country.

The court said that her case was different from that of the other accused as she was not making a private visit, but would be part of an official delegation. The court also said that it had no reason to believe that she might misuse the liberty given to her.

“Furthermore, no prejudice would be caused to the prosecution, as the cases are listed for final arguments only, wherein personal presence of the accused is not always necessary,” the court said.

The court noted that Kanimozhi had always been diligent in attending court proceedings and that her conduct in the court had not been questionable.

Kanimozhi stated at the bar that the secretariat of the vice president had been informed about the case pending against her.

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