M A I N   N E W S

Tehelka tapes original, says expert

New Delhi, June 21
The Tehelka tapes on corruption in defence deals, which led to the resignation of then Defence Minister Mr George Fernandes, three years back, are “original” and have not been “over-dubbed”, a London-based expert today told the Commission of Inquiry going into the expose.

In a boost to the case of the news portal, Tehelka, Mr Mathew James Cass told S N Phukan Commission of Inquiry here that the tapes were “edited” but there was no technical evidence that they have been “over-dubbed” as was contended by Samata Party leader Jaya Jaitley as well as Army officers who had figured in the tapes.

“In my opinion, there is nothing to indicate that the tapes supplied to me by the Commission are not the camera originals made at the time of the incidents depicted. There is significant evidence to support the contention that they are the camera originals,” said Mr Cass, an Associate Director for the Department of Electronic Evidence and senior video, audio and imaging expert at the Bureau of Forensic Science, London.

Mr Cass, who was asked to examine the tapes to establish their authenticity as camera originals and explain anomalies, if any, said the tapes had been “edited” but he cannot say whether it was done “maliciously”.

The expert, in his 16-page report, said the audio was by and large consistent with the background. “In all instances where over-dubbing of another voice is alleged, there is no evidence on a technical level to support this allegation. The voice in each case is consistent as is the background sound,” he said.

Mr Cass, who has also worked in the scientific support unit of Thames Valley Police in the UK, said he had received the tapes for examination more than a year back on June 5, 2003 and was also supplied with the broadcast tapes and the recording equipment including briefcase camera and tie cameras used by the portal in the expose.

He said he was also instructed to address specific allegations by Army officers Anil Sehgal, Iqbal Singh, P S K Choudhary besides Mr Jaitley and a businessman, Mr R K Gupta, who had appeared in the tapes, by comparing the final edited programme with the “camera originals”.

On the point whether the editing was done “maliciously”, the expert said “whether or not the context has changed due to the editing in the cases is for the Commission to decide. I can only indicate to the Commission that an edit has happened.”

He, however, recommended to the Commission that it should view the original tape on high quality play-back equipment to make its own decision on whether material removed in the edit was significant and if its removal does indeed change the context of the subjects, words or actions.

Maintaining that there were “inconsistencies” in both the Commission’s and news portal’s transcription, the expert said “I can point out the inaccuracies but it is not my place to comment on the change in context that these could result in.” — PTI 



Tehelka MD seeks compensation

London, June 21
Describing the London-based expert’s opinion that their tapes were “original” as “big relief”, Tehelka Managing Editor Tarun Tejpal today demanded a compensation for “three-and-a-half years of victimisation” by the previous government.

“Of course, it is a big relief. It is a shame that for last three-and-a-half years, we have been victimised and we have lost everything. It only shows how a system resists every inquiry against it,” Tejpal told PTI.

Asserting that the portal and its shareholders such as First Global have suffered huge loses and were in debts, Tejpal, said “I have written to the Prime Minister seeking changes in the way Tehelka Commission went about its duty and demanded compensation for their damages.

“The investigation procedure of the Commission going into the expose has been affected by the immoralities of the government”, he said adding he wanted a proper inquiry to get to the truth of the allegations of corruption in defence deals.

“I have also demanded compensation for being victimised for last three-and-a-half years. The government can constitute a committee of eminent persons to assess our damages and decide accordingly about the compensation,” he added. — PTI


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |