Israeli drug peddler remanded to judicial custody

A Goa court on Wednesday dismissed CBI`s petition seeking police custody of Israeli drug peddler Yaniv Benaim alias Atala.

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2011, 20:45 PM IST

Panaji: A Goa court on Wednesday dismissed CBI`s
petition seeking police custody of Israeli drug peddler Yaniv
Benaim alias Atala, a prime link in the drug nexus case.

Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Court Judge
Nutan Sardesai instead remanded the fugitive to judicial
custody for 14 days.

The central probe agency had brought Atala from Peru on
August 27, where he was arrested by Interpol after jumping
bail in India.

Moving an application for his custody last week, CBI had
said that Atala was not cooperating and his custodial
interrogation was required to know more about the nexus.

Special public prosecutor S R Rivonkar representing CBI,
had said that although Crime Branch, which was earlier
investigating the case, had exhausted the maximum police
custody permissible for the accused, CBI has filed a fresh
case.

"We had no opportunity to interrogate the accused in
custody," he had said adding that Crime Branch might not have
investigated the case properly given the prima facie
involvement of Goa police had surfaced.

Advocate S Dhond, representing Atala, however, had
opposed the police custody stating that his client has been
cooperating with the investigating agency right from the time
he was picked up in Peru.

He said that the CBI was investigating the same case
which was filed by the crime branch with no separate FIR filed
and no additional sections added to it.

Atala, who was arrested in March 2010 was released on
conditional bail in June last year but he jumped the bail and
crossed the borders before being arrested in Peru.

PTI