Betamax Affair: Xavier-Luc Duval To Testify This Week

The Deputy Prime Minister, Xavier-Luc Duval, will testify today at the CCID. He is expected to give his account of the Betamax affair. At the time when the fuel transport contract was given out to the firm Betamax, Xavier-Luc Duval was part of the cabinet under Navin Ramgoolam.

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His name was mentioned by Navin Ramgoolam when he was himself interrogated days ago. Therefore, the version of Xavier-Luc Duval is now required.

The ex-PM had affirmed that the allocation of the contract to Betamax was decided upon by the cabinet. He also added that 5 ministers of the MSM who were then members of his government had approved of the decision.

Xavier-Luc Duval has said that he is ready to divulge the contents of the report of the interministerial committee that was set up following differences in opinion in the cabinet. The committee was presided over by Xavier-Luc Duval in November 2009. Other ministers were also involved, namely, Mahen Gowressoo, Rama Sithanen, Anil Bachoo, and Ashraf Dulull. According to Duval, the committee was inclined to only “certain specific aspects” of the contract. He says being prepared to communicate all the details that he is aware of.

Vice-Prime Minister Showkutally Soodhun has also responded to the statements of the ex-PM. He said that the contract was signed in 2007 when he was not a member of the government, and not in 2010. He affirmed that following the elections in 2010, when he was the Minister of Industry and Commerce, he had asked for a forensic report. The report had allegedly revealed suspicious elements. He had then recommended for the report to be sent to the police or to the ICAC for an investigation. However, according to him, the report was discarded.

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