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Marines, chopper deal strain defence ties

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 12, 2013
First Published: 23:53 IST(12/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(12/3/2013)

While the Italians had cited their judicial provisions to deny information to India relating to the investigation into corruption charges against Italian defence group Finmeccanica, it has now emerged that they have scant regard for India's legal processes.


With Italy's refusal to send the marines back to India to face trial, New Delhi weighs a response to Italy's unprecedented diplomatic stand.

The government has been struggling to get past complex Italian procedures for the last one year, having shot off letters to Italian authorities at least six times in a desperate bid to collate information about the Rs. 3,760-crore deal for 12 VVIP choppers with UK-based AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica subsidiary.

While India has neither cancelled the deal yet nor taken a final decision on blacklisting AgustaWestland, sources said the new developments could lend urgency to take strict action against Finmeccanica, a state-controlled defence firm.

Meanwhile, the CBI has received the Italian search warrant that has details of charges against Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland chief executive officer Bruno Spagnolini.

"The documents were received from Finmeccanica. It might be helpful in taking the probe further," said a source.

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