In 1992 a book titled ‘The State Within The State – KGB and Russia’ authored by Dr Yevgenia Albats – a journalist who served as a Member of the Commission to inquire into KGB activities set up in 1991 by President Boris Yeltsin quotes KGB Chief’s letter about Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and the Maino family being on the payroll of the USSR secret service agency. GoaChronicle investigates…
In 2001, Dr Subramanium Swamy of the Janata Party filed a petition in the Delhi High Court levelling serious charges on Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and her Italian ‘Mainos’ were on the payroll of the KGB – the secret service of USSR. He filled a Writ Petition in the Delhi High Court (CWP No. 7529 of 2001).
In his petition to the Delhi High Court, Dr Swamy attached the details mentioned in the Yevgenia Albats book titled ‘The State Within The State – KGB and Russia’ as Annexure with relevant KGB documents and their translations.
The Central Bureau of Intelligence however in its affidavit/status report stated that in the absence of any criminal case or FIR, it was not possible to send a Letter Rogatory to the Russian Judicial Authority for investigations.
The Delhi High Court disposed off the case on the grounds that there was no positive evidence placed on record by the petitioner Dr Swamy.
“It is alleged in the petition that on 27.6.1992 a noted journalist, Ms. Yvegenia Albats of Moscow quoted from a report of the former KGB Chief, V. Chebrikov to the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) Central Committee.
The petitioner has quoted a few lines translated from Russian and published in Ms. Albat’s book ˜The State Within the State: The KGB in Russia”. It is further averred in the petition that the relevant portion of the aforesaid book from English translated edition, published by Farrar, Strauss and Giiraux, New York.
The petitioner has stated that the Central Government should investigate in this behalf. It is the grievance of the petitioner that though he has written to the Home Minister on 26.5.2001, but no action has been taken.
The petitioner has again relied on a book “The State Within a State “ Russia and the Role of KGBG˜ where references to the files etc are given.
Again the petitioner has relied on a news item dated 3.7.1992 published in ˜The Hindu” dated 4.7.1992 under the caption “KGB helped firm controlled by Rajiv’s family˜ by Vlamidir Radyhuin. A copy of the news item is placed on record.
Reading the same it appears that it is coming from Moscow. This piece of paper cannot be treated under any circumstances as having any evidentiary value so as to direct an agency to investigate the matter. It is also required to be noted that the operative portion of the news item reads as ˜The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service admits the possibility that the KGB could have been involved in arranging profitable Soviet contracts for the company controlled by the Rajiv Gandhi family. Thus it is very clear that the agency while expressing an opinion refers to the possibility only, and the words ˜could have been involved˜ indicate that there is no positive or definite information. Therefore, such item cannot be looked into for any type of investigation to be ordered by the Court. If the material is corroborated by independent piece of evidence, the matter may be different.
So far as the book, on which reliance is placed, is concerned, relevant zerox pages are produced on record at pages 33 to 35. Again the author relies on a letter signed by Victor Chebrikov, who replaced Andropov as head of the KGB in 1982.
Reliance is placed by the petitioner on some statement made in a letter which is alleged to have been signed by Victor Chebrikov and the book is translated in English. There is no positive evidence placed on record by the petitioner.”
Here is a look at the evidence in GoaChronicle’s possession presented by Dr Swamy:
Dr Yevgenia Albats – a Soviet journalist who was appointed as member of the official KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in 1991. She had full access to secret files of the KGB. She authored a book, The State within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia. Dr. Albats disclosed in her book that:
“KGB chief Victor Chebrikov in December 1985 had sought in writing from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), “authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.”
CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985.
These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi’s family and “have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.”
In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for ‘Soviet ideological interest.
1. Why has the government of India not pursued investigations into such a sensitive matter involving the payout by KGB to the Rajiv Gandhi family including Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, when the truth of the evidence can be easily verified by the Russian government?
2. The Delhi High Court reason for its order was that the evidence written in a book was inconclusive in arriving on a decision on the matter, therefore they disposed of the case stating there was no positive evidence. But the investigation agency – CBI could have investigated the complaint and links of Rajiv Gandhi family to KGB