CBI in London to help in extradition of Shankaran

Ravi Shankaran is the main accused in the Naval War Room leak case.

New Delhi: A two-member CBI team has
reached London to assist British law officers in the
extradition trial of Ravi Shankaran, the main accused in the
Naval War Room leak case.

A Westminster court is hearing the case relating to the
extradition of 46-year-old Shankaran, who was arrested in
London last year on the basis of Interpol Red Corner notice
secured against him by the CBI. The hearing is due to commence
later in the day.

Shankaran, whose passport was revoked by the Ministry of
External Affairs on May 1, 2006, has been evading arrest in
connection with the Naval War room leak case for over five
years now. After the case was handed over to CBI, Shankaran,
kin of former Naval Chief Arun Prakash, had fled the country.

Highly-placed sources in the CBI said today a team which
helped the probe agency in forensic examination of the
computers seized from the war room is in London to assist
the Crown Prosecution Services which is pleading the case on
behalf of India in the London court.

Shankaran is facing extradition proceedings for
allegedly committing cheating and forgery. However, the
Official Secrets Act had not been invoked while seeking his
return from London as it was not admissible under the UK`s
legal system.

His counsel had raised doubts about an e-mail with an
attachment of Sir Creek sent by Commander Virender Rana to a
person called Vic Branson of Inmaty company in Belgium, which
they claimed was owned by Shankaran.

The court-approved forensic experts, as quoted by the
accused`s counsel, had claimed that the alleged e-mail by Vic
Branson to Rana had no date and time and an independent court
approved expert has confirmed that it is not possible to
create an email, type 11 words, attach 8 documents and then
save it all in just two seconds.

However, unfazed by the claims, the CBI will present its
argument that the expert has wrongly considered creation time
of the `Temporary` internet file related to email in question,
which is actually an automatic process in the computer system
to cache open files, which can be recovered in case of any
crash, the sources said.

The CBI had served a number of notices at Shankaran`s
office and residence in Mumbai asking him to be available for
questioning. But after getting no response from him, the
CBI moved for a red corner notice and got his passport

The agency had conducted raids at the factory premises
of Shanks Oceaneering belonging to Shankaran in Mumbai and Goa
and seized documents.

Former Wing Commander Sambhajee Surve who was allegedly
passing on classified information to a woman was the last
person to be arrested in the case. A pen drive taken from
Surve was what tipped off the authorities to the leak.


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