21 May 2011

Comm Games chief faces formal charges

6:56 am on 21 May 2011

Indian police have brought formal charges against the Delhi Commonwealth Games chief for an alleged fraud involving a $US 31 million ($NZ 39 million) deal awarded to a Swiss firm for timekeeping equipment.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a 50-page charge sheet in a New Delhi court against Suresh Kalmadi and eight others for their role in handing the timing-scoring-result system contract to Swiss Timing.

The police allege the contract was inflated by $US 21 million ($NZ 27 million).

The agency has sought their prosecution under various anti-corruption laws on the grounds that they were party to criminal conspiracy and had forged documents.

The 66-year-old Kalmadi, who was arrested last month and is in prison, was previously accused by the CBI of "wrongfully restricting and eliminating competition" from other would-be Games suppliers of timekeeping equipment.

Swiss Timing, the Swiss firm involved, has denied any wrongdoing.

The event was meant to showcase India's status as an emerging global power, but the sporting headlines were stolen by venue delays, shoddy construction and budget overruns in which the event's cost tripled to at least $US6 billion ($NZ 7.5 billion).