Indian officials will question the alleged middleman, Guido Haschke, in the AgustaWestland `3,600-crore choppergate scam during the ongoing proceedings of the case in an Italian court on December 13, defence ministry sources said on Saturday.
After Friday’s hearing, “Our lawyer has reserved the right to question the American-Swiss national Haschke,” they said. “During the next hearing in the case on December 13 in a court in Milan, our lawyer will put forward questions to him.”
The Indian team, including ministry officials, had not questioned him during the last hearing on Friday. This is the first time that India would get access to question Haschke — one of the main middlemen involved in the scam.
According to reports from Italy, Haschke has also claimed that 6 million euros were paid to air force officials and 8.4 million euros to the bureaucracy. He claimed that politicians were also paid.
On the issue of payments made to bureaucrats and politicians, the reports said that the money was as part of a draft budget prepared by the middlemen on a paper for the deal in which air force has been written as ‘AF’ and politicians have been referred to as ‘pol’.
In the last hearing, Haschke had said that he had met former IAF chief SP Tyagi about seven times while recounting his role in the scandal. He said that there was a plan to divide a commission of 7% of the worth of the deal with the three Tyagi brothers, the cousins of the then air chief SP Tyagi.