Court issues summons to former top executive of Louis Berger

Sessions Court in Goa has issued a summons to James McClung, former top executive of the US-firm Louis Berger, who had confessed to a court in that country to have paid bribes to ministers in Goa.

McClung had claimed to have paid bribes to former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat and some others to win consultancy for a water augmentation and sewerage line system project, to be implemented through a funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to a court.

Principal Sessions Judge, North Goa, Irshad Agha, today ordered McClung to appear on September 17 at 10 am to answer the charge sheet against him.

A notice should be served to McClung through the investigating officer, Goa Crime Branch’s inspector Dattaguru Sawant, the court directed.

“It has been shown to my satisfaction that McClung, who is a resident of Washington DC, has absconded or is concealing himself to avoid the service of the summons,” the court said.

McClung and Richard Hirsch of the UAE, both former employees of Louis Berger, had pleaded guilty to a bribery charge before a court in the US.

They had admitted to have paid USD 976,630 in bribe for the Goa project.

The Crime Branch had arrested then Goa public works department minister Churchill Alemao in the case in September 2015. Kamat had obtained anticipatory bail from the sessions court.

In October 2016, the Crime Branch filed a charge sheet in this case, naming Kamat as the “prime conspirator”.

The police also named McClung, former India vice-president of the company Satyakam Mohanty, head of the JICA-aided project in Goa Anand Wachasunder, suspected Hawala dealer Raychand Soni and former Margao municipal council chairperson Arthur D’Silva as accused.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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