Chopper deal: CBI may seek Italian help in probe
New Delhi: The CBI is planning to approach Italy for details about the ongoing probe in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case even as Swiss authorities arrested Guido Ralph Haschke, an alleged middleman in the deal.
Central Bureau of Investigation sources said that sending Letters Rogatory (LR), requesting evidence and judicial help, was being planned even before Haschke's arrest, which they termed a "significant development".
"After the response from Italy, we will decide our next step whether Haschke should be extradited or questioned," said a CBI official. Haschke, who is among the 13 accused booked by CBI in connection with the corruption case, was arrested in Switzerland Thursday on the request of Italian authorities probing allegations of bribery in the contract for 12 VVIP helicopters and will be extradited to Italy next week.
The helicopter contract is under probe of Italian and Indian agencies for alleged kickbacks paid to Indian officials, including former air force chief S P Tyagi, to clinch the deal.Tyagi has denied allegations of any kickbacks.
According to the CBI FIR, alleged middlemen Haschke and Carlo Gerosa managed to send 5.6 million euros through Mohali-based IDS Infotech and Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Ltd to India and kept the remaining amount of about 24.30 million euros received from AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia.
The Italian prosecutor, who carried out the preliminary inquiry, has alleged that the CEO of Finmeccanica, the parent company of the Britain-based AgustaWestland, had used services of middlemen to bribe Indian officials.
Reacting on the rumours that Congress may name Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman, Nandan Nilekani as its candidate for Prime Minister, JD(U) Leader Shivanand Tiwari said the move could be suicidal for the party.
Date 10-12-13, Duration 0:51, Views 108