The CBI probing the Narada scam quizzed Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel in connection with the case at Nizam Palace. Mr Samuel was summoned just before the Pujas by the central investigating agency after it arrested the IPS officer SMH Mirza, the first person to be held in the case since the scam became public in 2016.
The Narada CEO was asked for some clarifications on Mirza’s statements which were recorded by the agency after the arrest, an CBI source said.
The source also claimed that the sleuths asked Samuel to share the password of his iPhone which he had reportedly used to carry out the sting operation on the 13 high profile leaders of the ruling Trinamul Congress in 2014, with them.
The Narada News boss had earlier refused to share it with the investigating agency.
Moreover, the questioning of Samuel became necessary to tally the version given by him with the statements given by Mirza.
The ex-police officer earlier claimed that the money he had received from Samuel was given to Mukul Roy at his Elgin Road flat. Samuel was also learnt to have narrated the whole sequence of events leading to the disbursal of a purported amount of Rs 5 lakh money to the IPS officer.
The Narada CEO said Mirza was the “key conduit” between him and Mr Roy.
A CBI official on condition of anonymity said that Samuel had told them during questioning earlier that he had met Mirza on two occasions.
They first met at a hotel near the airport and then at a posh hotel in the heart of the city, where Mirza was present along with his wife. An agency source said that there is every likelihood that Samuel would be made to sit face to face with Mirza to elicit more information regarding the deal between Roy and Mirza.
Interestingly, Mirza had claimed before the media that he had given money to Roy at his Elgin Road residence. An on-the-spot reconstruction was carried out by the agency officers a few day back. Mr Samuel is leant to have revealed that the iPhone contained some extra unedited contents that might throw more lights on the scam.
Mr Roy said: “This is nothing but a conspiracy hatched by none other than chief minister Mamata Banerjee to malign me and the BJP”.
Meanwhile, after the interrogation, Samuel told news persons that he had given some clarifications on the statements recorded by the agency earlier.
He said he has assured the agency officials to cooperate as and when they require him. “I’d given some clarifications today. If required, I will give further statements next time,” Samuel said.