Britain does not have “all the information” on the corruption allegations surrounding the £485mn Augusta Westland helicopter deal but will encourage the Italians to pass on the relevant facts to India, a British minister has said.
“We will respond to and cooperate with any request from India, but I don’t think we will have all the information because the allegations are against the Italians,” foreign office minister Hugo Swire said. “The UK will encourage the Italians to provide the information.”
Swire was in the 110-member delegation taken by British Premier David Cameron to India last month, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought Britain’s cooperation in investigating the corruption charges. According to reports, Italian investigators have named a British middleman as a key intermediary between the helicopter company and former Air Chief Marshal, SP Tyagi.
Although the helicopters are manufactured in Britain, the parent company, Finmeccanica, is Italian — a point reinforced by Swire in a briefing on Thursday.