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Swiss Hinduja brother plans to leave India

The three Hinduja brothers are accused of involvement in a 15-year-old corruption scandal

(Keystone Archive)

India's Supreme Court has ruled that Prakash Hinduja, a Swiss citizen, can leave India if one of his two brothers returns from Britain to replace him as a guarantor that the trio will stand trial on alleged bribery and conspiracy charges.

All three brothers appeared in court on Wednesday to hear the judge's decision. It is now up to them to decide who will replace Prakash so he can return home.

Prakash Hinduja has been acting as a guarantor in New Delhi since May 12, when his two brothers, Gopichand and Srichand left India to take care of their business interests in London.

The brothers were also required to provide bank guarantees of 150 million rupees (SFr5.5 million) each.

Both Gopichand and Srichand returned to London in May after fighting for the right to leave India for five months. The brothers voluntarily returned to India to face allegations of corruption in January.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation claims the brothers received $8.3million (SFr14.23million) in bribes from the Swedish arms manufacturer, Bofors, in return for brokering the sale of 400 howitzer guns to the Indian army in 1986.

The brothers deny that the money, which was paid into their Swiss bank accounts, came from Bofors. They have declined to disclose its source.

Gopichard and Srichard are both British nationals. The issuing of their British passports hit the headlines in Britain earlier this year, causing a scandal which led to the resignation of the former Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Mandelson.

swissinfo with agencies

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