Ramalinga Raju in Hyderabad, claims lawyer (Second lead)

January 9th, 2009 - 1:28 am ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Jan 8 (IANS) Satyam Computer founder-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, whose whereabouts are not known after his shocking admission of massive financial fraud, is in the city and has no intention to avoid the process of law, his lawyer claimed Thursday even as a top company official said they did not rule out filing a criminal case against him.Lawyer S. Bharat Kumar said in a statement Thursday, “My client B. Ramalinga Raju is very much available in Hyderabad. He denies reports appearing in a section of media that he is absconding or has fled from the country.”

Meanwhile, Ram Mynampati, the interim CEO of Satyam Computers, told a news conference here Thursday evening that he had no knowledge of Raju’s whereabouts. “But I assuming that he is in Hyderabad,” he said.

To a query, he said he did not rule out filing a criminal case against Raju. “Many actions are possible once we ascertain the validity of Mr Ramalinga Raju’s statement,” he said.

Lawyer Kumar said Raju engaged his services to represent him in the legal matters pertaining to his statement to the Satyam board Wednesday.

Raju had stated in his letter to Satyam board Wednesday that he was ready to face the law of the land and the consequences.

“Under instructions from my client, I communicate that Raju had made it very clear that he was prepared to subject himself to the law of the land and face consequences arising thereof. Should the need arise, Raju will make himself available for probe or any legal process by the agencies of the government,” the statement said.

“At the cost of reiteration, I make it clear that Raju has no intention to avoid the process of law,” Kumar added.

Raju became incommunicado after sending a letter to Satyam board Wednesday morning, and confusion prevailed after a TV channel reported that he had left either for the US or Dubai.

Raju is believed to have met nobody in the last two days. It is also possible that he might have handed over his letter to company officials before becoming incommunicado.

The Hyderabad police are reportedly trying to find Raju’s whereabouts.

The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered a probe by crime branch. Police Commissioner B. Prasada Rao Wednesday said the police would act only if a shareholder or regulator lodges a complaint against Raju.

Some police teams were also sent to Satyam offices in the city to trace him but were unsuccessful.

A team of officials from market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) arrived here Thursday and begin the probe amid speculation that police might arrest Raju after he confessed to a Rs.70-billion (Rs.7,000-crore) fraud Wednesday.

“A SEBI team is in Satyam today. It is talking to few associates. We expect the process to continue for few days,” Ram Mynampati told the news conference.

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