Amitabh Bachchan cleared in Bofors scandal
MUMBAI: The former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom gave Indian Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan a clean chit in the Bofors gun payoff scandal, according to a story in in the Times of India on Wednesday.
“I speak from personal experience and personal exoneration. 25 years after the incident, I read today from one that pioneered accusation and investigation, of innocence. Of the fault that never lay before me. Of one that remained and shall perhaps remain a darkened spot, blemished beyond all recognition, but in admittance of wrong doing against me,” Amitabh wrote on his blog.
“No one shall be able to understand or even remotely fathom, the hours and days and months and years of the anguish of petulant blame, that I had to go through. But will it really interest another? No it shall not,” Amitabh, who was MP at the time, added.
Along with the late Rajiv Gandhi, the 69-year-old star was implicated in the kickbacks scandal on the Rs 1,500 crore gun deal.
His wife, Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan also spoke out. “We knew the truth 25 years back but justice takes its own time and our stand has been vindicated,” she said.
In an interview to website thehoot.org, Lindstrom, who had operated under pseudonym Swedish Deep Throat, said there was no evidence to show that Gandhi had taken a bribe in the Bofors deal but he didn’t stop the cover-up to protect Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi.
He also said the case against actor and then Congress MP Amitabh Bachchan and his family was planted in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter by Indian investigators.
“Their mission was misguidance, connived to its maximum, for issues that never ever did be of any concern in the execution of their own selfish mercenary agenda. They won momentarily. But lost ultimately. Lost position and strength and power yes, but importantly their conscience. And today that counts the most!” said Amitabh.
The Bofors gun payoff scandal was a major corruption scandal during the 1980s and 1990s implicating then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others who were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India 155 mm field howitzers.
The scale of the corruption — estimated to the tune of Rs.64 crore — was far worse than any that India had seen before and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi’s ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections.