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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Chopper deal: India to seek info from Agusta

PTI  New Delhi, March 05, 2013
First Published: 20:46 IST(5/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:58 IST(5/3/2013)

After rejecting AgustaWestland's reply to its show cause notice, the defence ministry is writing to the firm specifically asking about its linkages with software companies allegedly used as a cover for paying kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal.

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The ministry will specifically ask about AgustaWestland's transactions with Tunisia and India-based firms IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, sources told PTI in New Delhi.

The names of IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix have figured in the investigations by Italian authorities in the context of allegedly routing a portion of the kickbacks in the Rs. 3,600 helicopter deal.

The firm is expected to be given one week's time to the to provide detailed answers to the clarifications sought by the defence ministry, they said.

A show cause notice was issued by the defence ministry to the Anglo-Italian firm late last month as part of the process to cancel the contract for 12 VVIP choppers.

The Ministry had asked the firm why the deal not be cancelled in view of the corruption charges against it.

The firm had replied to the letter denying any wrongdoing in the deal but defence minister AK Antony rejected the response of the firm.

The defence ministry has already ordered a CBI probe into the allegations after the arrest of CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini by Italian investigators in connection with the case.


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