MoD Seeks Embassy Report in VVIP Chopper Case in Italy

Published: 31st July 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2014 08:05 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The MoD on Wednesday sought a report from the Indian Embassy in Rome regarding Italian defence major Finmeccanica’s claim that prosecutors in Milan dropped anti-corruption proceedings against its execs in connection with the IAF’s `3,727-cr deal for 12 AgustaWestland choppers. “We have sought a report from the Indian Embassy in Rome regarding the court proceedings in the case. We have to verify the media reports before taking a call on this,” MoD officials said.

This move comes after reports from Rome quoted a Finmeccanica statement that Italian prosecutors have “shelved” proceedings against AgustaWestland’s parent company executives, claiming that they and the firm had nothing to do with the alleged corruption.

The officials were asked if the situation had changed now that the Italian prosecutors have dropped the case against Finmeccanica. They also said that as far as the MoD goes, status quo will be maintained on the deal which is under a CBI probe, following which the contract stood terminated and recovery of bank guarantees worth `2,000cr processed.

The MoD had on January one terminated the contract for the VIP choppers with AgustaWestland signed in 2010 after the CBI named former IAF chief S P Tyagi and his three cousins among several persons and companies in the case. A bribe of `350 crore was said to have been paid by AgustaWestland to bag the deal.

Prosecutors in Busto Arsizio had shelved proceedings against Finmeccanica for alleged corruption in the sale of 12 AW-101 helicopters made by its AgustaWestland subsidiary, Italian news agency Ansa had said in a report from Rome. Prosecutors have stated that Finmeccanica has nothing to do with the offence, the company said in a statement, adding, its two subsidiary companies have agreed to pay a fine in the contract but not admitted to any wrongdoing.

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