Former Goa CM Digambar Kamat denies any involvement in Louis Berger case

Panaji: Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Wednesday said that he had nothing to do with the Louis Berger case in which a $976,630-bribe was paid for securing a water and sewerage project here.

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“I have nothing to do with JICA (Japan International Co-operation Agency) project. The file did not come to me,” Kamat said.

The Congress leader is expected to depose before the Crime Branch, which is probing the case, in which an official has been arrested and former public works department minister Churchill Alemao has already been questioned.

Top officials of Louis Berger have already pleaded guilty to offering bribes to the tune of $3.9 million to secure contracts in countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.

While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who were offered the bribes, the documents revealed that $976,630 (around Rs.6.3 crore) in bribes was paid during 2009-2010 to a Goa minister and other officials.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium that eventually won a contract to execute a water and sewerage project in Goa, funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA).

McClung was the senior vice president of the India region for Louis Berger when the bribes were allegedly paid, according to the observations made by the US court.

The crime branch team has already recorded statements of former Indian officials of the consultancy firm about the alleged bribes paid to Kamat as well as Alemao in 2010 to win the JICA contract. Alemao has also denied accepting bribes to offer the consultancy to Louis Berger.