Money laundering case: Robert Vadra skips Friday ED date

New Delhi: Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Friday skipped his scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case linked to purchase of alleged illegal assets abroad, officials said.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra

They said Vadra has cited bad health as the reason for missing the date.

The agency is expected to give him a fresh date for next week.

Vadra was grilled for about five hours Thursday when the investigating officer of the case recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Vadra, in public comments on social media, said Thursday that it was the 11th time he appeared before probe agencies and has been subjected to 70 hours of questioning so far.

“I maintain my belief in the Indian judiciary. I have and will adhere to all summons/norms of government agencies. I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approximately 70 hours. In future also, I will cooperate, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations,” Vadra said.

Vadra has appeared before ED multiple times in connection with this case as also in an another criminal money laundering cases related to alleged irregularities of land allotment in Rajasthan’s Bikaner.

The agency recently sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail given to Vadra and also opposed his plea for foreign travel.

A court Wednesday reserved for June 3 its order to allow Vadra to travel abroad or not.

And the Enforcement Directorate last week moved a Delhi court, seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail given to Vadra in this case and the Delhi High Court had then issued notice to him seeking his response.

The ED had told the Delhi HC that it required Vadra’s custody as he was not cooperating in the investigation and and the trial court had not discussed the gravity of the offence in its order that gave relief to the high-profile businessman.

The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.

The agency had told a Delhi court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra. These include two houses, one worth 5 million GBP and the other valued at 4 million GBP, six other flats and more properties.

Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.