HYDERABAD: The CBI, probing the multi-crore accounting scam in Satyam Computers, has reduced the number of witnesses in the case to 220 as against 690 mentioned in the charge sheet, following directions from the Supreme Court to speed up the trial, a top official said. Lakshmi Narayana, DIG, CBI said as per the apex court directives, the number of documents supporting the charge sheet, which were around 3,067, have also been reduced to a thousand-odd.

“From our side, we are keeping up with the pace of the trial. We are trying our best to follow Supreme Court directions. So far, 212 witnesses have been produced in a court here,” Narayana told PTI.

Overruling a decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court that had granted bail to B Ramalinga Raju in the case, the apex court on October 26 last year, said the prime accused cannot approach court for bail until July 31, 2011.

Narayana said they are still awaiting replies for Letters Rogatory (LR), from four countries out of the total six.

The agency earlier had received replies from two countries-UK and Singapore. Based on the content of the replies from the remaining countries, there may be fresh charges against the accused, the DIG said.

The CBI had sent LR, a formal request from a court here to a foreign court for judicial assistance, to six countries – USA, UK, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Singapore.

The CBI in its charge sheet alleged that Raju diverted funds to foreign countries.

The new management of Satyam Computers, under Mahindras, also found that the fudging by Raju and his aides was not done just for manipulating the balance sheet to show non-existent revenues and profits, but also for making money by getting some projects awarded to the company outside its accounting system and thereby pocketing the revenues.

Meanwhile, the XXI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court here, which has been trying the case has completed the process of recording statements of witnesses produced by the CBI, said K Surender, special public prosecutor for the probe agency.

“The court examined all outside witness and now will examine 11 investigation officers involved in the case. We are hopeful that the process will be completed by this month end and cross examination of witness will start then,” he said.

Raju, in a letter sent to Stock Exchanges on January 7, last year, resigned from the company after confessing to country’s biggest financial fraud of Rs 14,000 crore.

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