Goa ex-CM, top official get bail in Louis Berger case

Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS) Former Goa chief minister Churchill Alemao and former project director of the compromised JICA funded project Anand Wachasundar were granted bail by a special court here on Monday in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case.

Both Alemao, also a former public works department minister, and Wachasundar were incarcerated for more than two months for allegedly receiving, along with others, bribes to allot the Rs.1,031 crore JICA project consultancy project to Louis Berger.

The two have been released on a personal bond of Rs.5 lakh each and have been directed not to leave the country during the investigation.

Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, along with then state PWD minister Churchill Alemao and other government officials, has been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger construction consultancy firm to secure contracts for the water and sewerage augmentation project in Goa worth Rs.1,031 crore funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA), which was cleared in 2010 by a Congress-led coalition government.

Kamat is currently out on anticipatory bail.

Police have already charge sheeted the case naming Churchill Alemao, Anand Wachasunder (director of the tainted project) James McClung (former Asia head of Louis Berger), Satyakam Mahanty (former India head of Louis Berger), Richand Soni (alleged hawala operator) and Arthur Dsilva (a Digambar Kamat aide) as accused, while Kamat himself has been listed as a suspect but not charge sheeted yet.

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