Choppergate: Finmeccanica promises help to CBI
The CBI on Thursday met top officials of the Italian government-controlled Finmeccanica group, parent company of AgustaWestland helicopters, who promised assistance in probing bribery allegations against some Indian nationals.
During the meeting, CBI officials requested the Italian firm to handover the report of its internal probe to them so that it could be examined in India and a proper investigation could be conducted, official sources said.
The sources said the joint team of the CBI and defence ministry officials were assured of complete assistance and that the relevant papers would be handed over once the board of the company met.
The joint team, which is likely to return on Sunday after their week-long stay in Milan, had also met senior officials of the Italian judiciary including the judge in the case to request for assistance in probing the role of Indians in connection with alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.
This was not forthcoming as they were told that the probe in that country was in a preliminary stage and the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi, chairman of the firm, and Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland, was more of a preventive nature so that they did not tamper with evidence.
Two law firms – Chiomenti and Grippo – have been roped in to help in coordinating with the Italian authorities for getting documents and other relevant material pertaining to the AgustaWestland deal for supplying 12 helicopters to India.
It has been alleged that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were allegedly paid to swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.