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ED seeks help from Apple to unlock Arvind Kejriwal’s iPhone as he refuses to give the access code, the Delhi CM is being interrogated 5 hours daily

Arvind Kejriwal told the ED that he has possessed this phone for approximately a year and no longer has the device he used during the drafting of the liquor policy in 2020-2021.

Investigators from the Enforcement Directorate, who have been holding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in custody for more than a week, have reached out to Apple for assistance in accessing his iPhone. ED needs to access Kejriwal’s phone to retrieve data related to the Delhi excise scam, but the Delhi CM is refusing to give them the access code. AAP claims that ED will find AAP’s strategy for the Lok Sabha elections and therefore the agency can’t given access to the phone. As a result, ED will try to get access to Arvind Kejriwal’s mobile phone with the help of Apple.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam also called the Liquor Policy scam case. The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on Thursday extended the custodial remand of the Delhi Chief Minister by four more days till April 1.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the Enforcement Directorate has not obtained any electronic evidence against the Chief Minister from his personal computers or desktops. However, four mobile phones, including his own, were confiscated. During his arrest on March 21, approximately Rs 70,000 was discovered at his residence, which was left undisturbed. The Chief Minister had powered off his iPhone and had not divulged his password.

The report said that senior officials involved in the case revealed that during questioning, Arvind Kejriwal asserted that if the Enforcement Directorate were to access his phone data and conversations, they would gain insight into the AAP’s “election strategy” and pre-election alliances. The Enforcement Directorate has officially reached out to Apple, the phone manufacturer, in an attempt to gain access to the CM’s iPhone. However, they were informed that a password was required to retrieve any data.

However, Apple is known to protect the privacy of its customers, and have refused such requests by law enforcement agencies to unlock iPhones earlier. As per the company, when the phones are locked with advanced encryptions, even they can’t override it. Notably, most smartphones including iPhones are set to erase all data if there is a certain number of failed attempts to unlock the phone.

In the USA, the FBI wanted Apple to rewrite the software to include the ability to override password protection, but the company didn’t comply. In one well-known case, the FBI took the help of an Australian company to unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, after Apple declined to attempt to unlock the phone despite a court order.

Arvind Kejriwal told the ED that he has possessed this phone for approximately a year and no longer has the device he used during the drafting of the liquor policy in 2020-2021. Senior officials stated that the AAP convenor undergoes questioning for approximately five hours everyday. The ED intends to request a four-day extension of his remand. If unsuccessful, they plan to seek his judicial custody.

According to the report, the officer said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation, which has registered the predicate offence in the case, may also ask for his custodial remand now or can be granted this even if the Chief Minister is in JC in Tihar Jail.”

Kejriwal reportedly informed the ED investigators questioning him that he refrained from responding to the summons before his arrest based on “legal advice.” According to the ED remand, Kejriwal stands accused of money laundering through the implementation of the new liquor policy and illicitly obtaining funds amounting to Rs 100 crore, with Rs 45 crore purportedly utilized for AAP’s 2021-22 election campaign in Goa. During his custody, Kejriwal has also been “confronted” with C Arvind, the former Personal Secretary to incarcerated Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The remand application alleged that Arvind Kejriwal had delivered the draft Group of Ministers report on the liquor policy at Kejriwal’s residence.

The officers also said that Arvind Kejriwal was “confronted’ with “one or two more” key individuals linked to the case but their names were not disclosed. So far Kejriwal has denied all the claims made by other witnesses in their statements. He has either rejected them as lies or said that he does not remember them.

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