The CBI’s ongoing probe into the multi-crore VVIP chopper deal is expected to get a fillip after the probe agency has been handed over the transcripts of the telephone conversations of the alleged middlemen involved in the sensational case.
The investigating agency received the transcripts from the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD).
CBI sources revealed that according to the Italian rules, the Milan court which probed the case had provided the transcripts of the intercepted telephone conversations to all the‘affected parties’,which included the MoD.
It was also revealed that the investigating agency would soon engage the services of a translator as the transcripts received by the agency were in Italian.
The transcripts contain details of the telephone conversations among Guido Haschke, Christian Michael and Carlo Gerosa. And Italian law enforcement agencies had registered a case against AugustaWestland, and its holding company
Finmeccanica, which won the contract to supply 12 VVIP choppers to the IAF at a cost of `3,600 crore.
It was alleged that AgustaWestland had engaged the services of the middleman, who paid ‘bribes’totalling `362 crore to clinch the deal.
The investigative agency , on its part, filed cases against 13 people in the Chopper scam on March 12. And the accused include the ‘middlemen trio of Haschke, Michael and Gerosa; retired Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi and his cousins Julie, Docsa and Sandeep.
The probe agency had alleged that the IAF originally intended to acquire choppers which could operate at an altitude of 6,000 metres. But the middlemen allegedly used their connections with Tyagi’s cousins to rig the deal in favour of AgustaWestland by getting the ‘operational ceiling’ reduced to 4,500 metres. Hence, Agusta was eligible to bid for the tender.
Furthermore, the CBI had alleged that two Chandigarh-based companies -- IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix -- were used to transfer the money paid as kickbacks in the deal.
For this, the two firms forged documents to show that they had won the contracts to provide software services to AgustaWestland.
The CBI had booked Satish Bagrodia, chairman of IDS Infotech and brother Santosh Bagrodia, former MoS Coal Ministry as well as the company’s MD Pratap Agarwal. Pravin Bakshi, CEO of Aeromatrix has also been booked by the agency in the case.