India denies involvement in US missile technology export case

March 15th, 2008 - 10:11 am ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 15 (IANS) India has rejected allegations made in a US court that an official from its embassy in Washington had joined in a conspiracy with an Indian American businessmen to illegally export sensitive dual use items to the country. Asked to comment on the guilty plea of the owner of an electronics firm, Parthasarathy Sudarshan, 47, in a US court, a senior official of the Indian embassy said: “In respect of the allegations made by the businessman we are reiterating that no official of the government of India has violated either Indian or US laws.”

“Our procurement process is quite transparent based on open tenders and competition,” the official, who cannot be identified, told IANS. “We are consistent with the Government of India policies not to obtain items from foreign countries in violation of their export control laws and regulations.”

“Government of India itself has very strict export control laws in place relating to dual use and sensitive material and technology,” the official said.

According to court documents, Sudarshan, owner of Cirrus Electronics, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy to illegally export sensitive items to India’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), for possible use in ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and fighter jets.

In addition to supplying VSSC and BDL with components, Sudarshan acquired and shipped 500 microprocessors to the Aeronautical Development Establishment engaged in the development of Tejas, a fighter jet, twice in 2004 and 2006, prosecutors alleged.

According to the indictment, Cirrus made the illicit shipments working closely with an unidentified Indian government official located in Washington who was not charged.

Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined comment on the alleged involvement of an Indian embassy official in the case. “It’s an ongoing legal matter,” he told reporters Friday referring them “to the Department of Justice.”

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