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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Choppergate: Ratan Tata records statement

Abhishek Sharan , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 29, 2014
First Published: 01:08 IST(29/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:21 IST(29/7/2014)

Tata Sons’ former chairman Ratan Tata recorded his witness statement before an Italian court conducting a trial against Italian firm Finmeccanica — and its subsidiary AgustaWestland (AW) — for alleged corruption, including their 2010 deal with India for supply of VVIP choppers.

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Tata told the court he had met AW’s former CEO, Giuseppe Orsi, around six-seven times but it was “solely” related to a JV between the Tata Group and the AW.

Orsi was named as an accused along with former IAF chief SP Tyagi and 11 others in the CBI’s FIR to probe alleged receipt of kickbacks in the `3,600 crore VVIP c.

When asked by the Italian court if Orsi had ever asked him for a “connection to come into contact with the Indian government to promote” the 2010 AW choppers deal, Tata said, “No, never.”

Referring to Tata’s statement, Tata Sons said in a press release: “Tata Sons clarifies that Mr Tata was not summoned by the Italian criminal court. Mr Tata voluntarily appeared as a witness, at the request of Mr Orsi, former CEO of AgustaWestland. Mr Tata’s deposition before this court only related to his interactions with Mr Orsi relating to the joint venture between the Tatas and AW and had no connection with the supply of helicopters from AW to the government of India.”


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