Home » Judicial Inquiry: Vinay Appanna: “Yes, I meet a lot of ministers”

Judicial Inquiry: Vinay Appanna: “Yes, I meet a lot of ministers”

“You want this court to believe that the company of Bonomally is not yours and that an employee is getting contracts of Rs 300 million more than you with the STC?” asked Rouben Mooroongapillay. Vinay Appanna was questioned for the fourth time this week in regards to the judicial inquiry of the suspicious death of Soopramanien Kistnen. 

Vinay Appanna was questioned by Rouben Mooroongapillay about the management of his companies and his link to other companies such as Bo Digital on Thursday 4th of March, at the Court of Moka in the Judicial enquiry into the death of MSM political agent, Soopramanien Kistnen. 

Rouben Mooroongapillay asked Vinay Appanna about his practice of creating companies and putting them under different names. This comes from the fact that his employee, Deepak Bonomally, obtained contracts of Rs 300 million more than Appana’s company. 

“You want this court to believe that the company of Bonomally is not yours and that an employee is obtaining contracts which are Rs 300 million more than your company is getting with the STC?” asked Rouben Mooroongapillay. 

To which the witness answered: “No, I don’t know”

The thesis of Rouben Mooroongapillay is that Deepak Bonomally received the contracts with STC only to hide the familial relationships between Vinay Appanna, his sister and Jonathan Ramasamy, his brother in law and the ex-general manager of the STC. 

Rouben Mooroongapillay went further to ask if Bonomally’s company Bo Digital is directed by Vinay Appanna but is using Deepak Bonomally as a “prête-nom”. The witness denied saying that “no, Bonomally is not a prête-nom”.

Rouben Mooroongapillay also kept his line of questioning around the meetings of Vinay Appannna and Yogida Sawmynaden. The witness however explained that his last meeting with the former Minister of Commerce and Industry was held in February 2020. But, he argues that he was not sure about the date. 

Faced to the various times Vinay Appanna used the word “probably” in his answers, the magistrate asked if the witness usually meets a lot of ministers for him not to be able to recall, to which he answered “yes, I meet a lot of ministers.”

Rouben Mooroongapillay also asked if Vinay Appanna was in contact with Yogida Sawmynaden during the year 2020. 

“I don’t remember, I need to check my phone.” 

The witness also mentioned that the MCIT requested to look into phone records of a number that he did not disclose during his first interrogation by the MCIT.

This earned Vinay Appanna a second warning from the magistrate, who explained that there will be sanctions, if the witness is misleading the court. The representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Azam Neerooa immediately took over to question the witness about the phone records. 

“Is it a maneuver from your part to mislead the investigation?” asked Azam Neerooa. 

“No, I don’t want to mislead the court.” answered the witness.

It was further revealed that the phone number in question was under the name of the witness’ sister in law. Vinay Appanna had also found himself in a tough spot as he could not remember the name of the said sister in law, which led Azam Neerooa to asking: “You are using someone’s sim card and you do not remember the name?” 

This led to the adjourning of the court for a few minutes, to give Vinay Appanna time to recall the name of his sister in law, which he later remembered. Neerooa asked further questions surrounding the family of the witness and the situations that have led the latter to move from La Louise to Ebene. 

Roshi Bhadain continued his questioning surrounding his onigram, which showed the link between the different protagonists of this judicial inquiry. The onigram in question explains how every character is involved in the company Neeteeselec. 

Incorporated the 21st April 2020 by Neeta Nuckchedd, Vinay Appanna injected Rs 2.7 million into Neeteeselec for the importation of wood. On the other hand, Deepak Bonomally paid Rs 600,000 to the said company for containers, while Ashvind Poonyth injected Rs 225,000. 

Finally the STC also gave contracts worth approximately Rs 200,000 to the company Neeteeselec. A series of questions surrounding those links were asked by Roshi Bhadain which the witness all denied.

Another part of Roshi Bhadain’s onigram also included the relationship between Yogida Sawmynaden, Neeta Nuckchedd and Vinay Appanna. When asked about whether they were all childhood friends, the witness only agreed to being a childhood friend to Yogida Sawmynaden and not to Neeta Nuckchedd. 

Roshi Bhadain further inquired about the fact that Vinay Appanna remains the “common denominator” between Bonomally, the Poonyth couple, as well as Yogida Sawmynaden who in turn is linked to Neeta Nuckchedd. 

Due to the lack of time for further questioning, Roshi Bhadain took the opportunity to explain to Vinay Appanna what was at stake in this judicial inquiry: “I want to give you the opportunity to explain these relationships regardless of corporate structures or veils. Because one of those people, the late Mr Soopramanien Kistnen was assassinated. I want you to understand the seriousness of this. Bear it in mind, when you answer the questions tomorrow to assist the court.” 

The court was adjourned to Friday 5th of March where Vinay Appanna will yet again be questioned.