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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for over 10 hours on Tuesday, the fifth day of his deposition in the National Herald money laundering case. So far, he has been questioned for nearly 50 hours in five days. It is understood that his questioning will end on Tuesday night. Gandhi, 52, took a half-hour break around 8 pm and rejoined the session that started at 11.30 am.

Gandhi reached the federal agency's office around 11:15 am and did not take any break post noon as he had done in his previous appearances.

The Congress MP from Wayanad has spent almost 50 hours at the ED office over five sittings with the investigators questioning him over multiple sessions and recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The fourth day of questioning was deferred from 17 June to 20 June after Gandhi requested the agency for postponing it as he wanted to be with his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper. Rahul and Sonia Gandhi – who are also the board of directors of Young India Ltd – own 38% of its shares each, or 76% of the whole company. The rest of 24% shares were held by former Congress leader Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes.

The ED is understood to be asking Rahul Gandhi about the incorporation of the Young Indian Private Limited, operations of the National Herald, the loan given by the party to the newspaper's publisher Associated Journals Limited (AJL), and the transfer of funds within the news media establishment. The agency has put across questions to him about the assets owned by AJL.

According to sources, Rahul Gandhi was reportedly asked about a loan of 1 crore taken by Young Indian Private Limited from a Kolkata-based company in February 2011 and the rationale behind it.

The questions put to Gandhi, the sources indicated, cover a period starting from 2011 when Young Indian Private Limited was incorporated.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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