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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NEWDELHI3220
2005-04-28 13:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

INDIA DENIES UNLAWFUL IMPORT OF CONTROLLED

Tags:   PREL  MNUC  KNNP  TSPA  ETTC  PK  IN  GOI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L NEW DELHI 003220 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2015
TAGS: PREL MNUC KNNP TSPA ETTC PK IN GOI
SUBJECT: INDIA DENIES UNLAWFUL IMPORT OF CONTROLLED
EQUIPMENT FOR SPACE PROGRAM

Classified By: PolCouns Geoffrey Pyatt, for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)



1. (C) Following several articles in the international and
Indian press, PolCouns queried MEA Director, Disarmament and
International Security (DISA), Venu Rajamony on April 26,
about the GOI investigation of the case of Asher Karni, an
Israeli businessman recently indicted in the US for unlawful
exports to Pakistan and India. Rajamony stated that he did
not have any information to share beyond that which was
included in the April 21 MEA press briefing (see text in para
3), but confirmed that various Indian agencies have been
investigating the Karni allegations.



2. (C) PolCouns raised concern about an April 24 article by
a Tribune reporter close to MEA that stated that the GOI
believes media reports of linkages between Karni and India's
space program are a "smokescreen for Pakistan's nuclear
proliferation and an attempt to deflect attention from
Pakistan." Rajamony dismissed the article, stating that he
did not know to whom the article's author had spoken about
the case.



3. (U) In an April 21 press briefing by MEA Spokesperson,
the government specifically denied any linkages between this
case and the Indian civilian space program, stating that the
GOI have found no evidence of any procurement as reported in
the press. Full text follows:

Question: There have been some reports in the US media that
an Israeli has been arrested for supplying some nuclear
equipment to India?

Answer: We have seen those reports which are regarding
prosecution of Asher Karni, an Israeli national in the US.
There is a reference in these reports that Asher Karni may
have sold advanced electronic equipment to government
agencies in India. It has also been mentioned that one
Humtek Communications of Bangalore had sought to buy
electrical components for the Space Applications Center
through Asher Karni.

We have examined these reports and have found no evidence of
any procurement as reported in these news reports. Space
Applications Center has confirmed that no item has been
procured from Humtek Communications. Furthermore, the Space
Applications Center is responsible for civilian space
applications and does not work on rockets as mentioned in
these reports.

I may also reiterate that India's indigenous
multi-dimensional space program has been developed in a
transparent manner in order to utilize various space
applications such as satellite communications, TV
broadcasting, weather prediction and management of natural
resources as well as disasters, so as to facilitate the
overall social and economic development of India. End GOI
text.

Ongoing Investigations


--------------------------





4. (C) Stressing that the US and India have a shared
interest in preventing proliferation, PolCouns suggested to
Rajamony that Indian investigators work with Mission's Export
Control Attache to facilitate their investigation about the
matter. According to the Export Control Attache, there is
still an ongoing investigation of the parties involved.
BLAKE