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Chopper deal: Web tightens around ex-IAF chief

Former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi has been indicted by an Italian probe of sharing details of the tender in the controversial Rs 3,546-crore deal to defence agents representing the Italian arms major Finmeccanica during his tenure.

Published: 15th February 2013 07:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2013 11:51 AM   |  A+A-

Tyagi_PTI

Former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi has been indicted by an Italian probe of sharing details of the tender in the controversial Rs 3,546-crore VVIP chopper deal to defence agents representing the Italian arms major Finmeccanica while he was still in office, and says he was a beneficiary of the kickbacks paid to bag the deal.

Confessions made by one of the agents interrogated in an anti-corruption probe in Milan, leading to Finmeccanica chief Giuseppe Orsi’s arrest Tuesday, speak about the role of Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Tyagi.

The prosecutors’ report submitted on Tuesday to a court in Busto Arsizio, Italy, identifies the mysterious middleman, who referred to ACM Tyagi’s role only as ADR. The report and the agents’ confessions also allege that ACM Tyagi was one of the beneficiaries of a pay-off in the deal for buying 12 AW-101 helicopters.

ADR was quoted in the report as confessing to inves­tigators that Tyagi met him and other intermediaries of Finmeccanica several times while he was the Chief of Air Staff, and during that time the IAF chief shared details of the tender, issued in September 2006, with them.

“There were other meetings at the Tyagis’ (brothers) offices during the time when the Marshal (S P Tyagi) was still in office. In these meetings, there was me and Gerosa (defence agent), but no one from AgustaWestland or Finmeccanica,” ADR has been quoted as saying in the documents.

“During these meetings, Marshal Tyagi used to tell us about developments in the tender,” he added.

The prosecutors’ report reproduced the confessions of the defence agents—US-born Guido Ralph Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and the mysterious middleman, ADR. The middlemen had strong links with three brothers from India, identified as Julie, Dosca and Sandeep Tyagi, who are ACM Tyagi’s cousins. However, the retired IAF chief has denied all allegations.

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