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VVIP chopper deal: Cong sends defamation notice to US website

The statements relate to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 3, 2016 6:40:46 am

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The Congress has sent a legal notice to a US-based website, accusing it of “intentionally and deliberately” making “ex-facie defamatory statements” while reporting an Italian court’s judgment on the AgustaWestland payoffs case to “discredit and tarnish” its image. The party has claimed that the website also ran an “unverified English translation” of the judgment.

In the notice sent to Sree Iyer who, it says, runs the website “www.pgurus.com”, the party has mentioned five “blatantly false and defamatory” statements which, it claimed, had appeared on the webpage. The statements relate to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes.

One of these statements in the news report said “the 225-page judgement also reveals that Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary accepted the commission of 15 to 16 million Euros.” Another said “the judgement also says that Haschke had identified all the Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel on the court when their photos were shown to him during the trial by the Italian prosecution.”

The party has asked Iyer to “unconditionally withdraw” the “false and defamatory statements” from the website and “tender an unconditional apology” to the Congress and its office bearers on the website within a week and threatened to “initiate appropriate civil action for damages and criminal action for defamation” if he fails to do so.

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