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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Chopper scam: CBI to send judicial request to Italy

PTI  New Delhi, November 04, 2013
First Published: 13:17 IST(4/11/2013) | Last Updated: 13:22 IST(4/11/2013)

With a view to finalising the charge sheet in VVIP helicopter purchase scam, CBI will send a judicial request to Italy seeking statements of the accused who have been facing trial in the country.

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CBI sources said a detailed questionnaire on various aspects of financial transactions, meetings of alleged middlemen and their interests in Indian and Tunisian companies, among others, would be part of the judicial request.

They said the agency wanted to first get the statements through the judicial request--also known as Letters Rogatory-- after which it might seek extradition of the suspects, if needed.

The top executives of Italian firm Finmeccanica and its United Kingdom-based subsidiary AgustaWestland are facing trial in Italy for alleged corruption in supply of 12 VVIP helicopters to India.

The Rs. 3600-crore contract is under probe of Italian and Indian agencies for alleged kickbacks paid to Indian officials, including former IAF chief S P Tyagi, to clinch it.

Tyagi has denied allegations of any kickbacks.

Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former and current Chief Executives of AgustaWestland respectively, are facing trial in Italy for alleged corruption.

Orsi was heading AgustaWestland when the deal was signed in 2010 and is now the Chief Executive Officer of parent company Finmeccanica.

The statements of both these top executives are important for CBI for finalising its charges which would be levelled in the charge sheet, the agency sources said.

India has become a civil party in the ongoing trial in Italy which helped it in getting court documents submitted by Italian prosecutors in connection with the case.


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