ED allowed to record jailed activist Gautam Navlakha’s statement in case against news portal



MUMBAI: A special NIA court here on Wednesday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to record a statement of activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, in its money laundering probe against ‘Newsclick’, a news website.

Navlakha is currently lodged in Taloja Jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai. The ED had filed an application before the special National Investigation Agency court seeking to record his statement in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act case filed against the website.

Judge DE Kothalikar granted the agency’s plea. Following a First Information Report (FIR) registered by Delhi Police against Newsclick, the ED registered a money laundering case against the portal with regard to `suspicious’ foreign funding.

In February this year, the ED raided the website’s office and properties of its promoters in Delhi. Navlakha is among several activists arrested in connection with Elgar Parishad, a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017.

Pune Police had claimed that inflammatory speeches at the event triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial, and the conclave had been backed by Maoists. The case was later taken over by the NIA.

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