New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The CBI on Monday quizzed former IAF chief S.P. Tyagi about the “foreign remittances” into his account two years after his retirement.
Monday was the fourth time Tyagi was questioned regarding the alleged payoffs in the Rs.3,600-crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal that has led to a political war between the Congress and the BJP.
Tyagi, questioned for around four hours at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters here, was asked about the source of funds that came to his account in 2009, two years after he retired.
The CBI questioned the former Air Chief Marshal from Monday to Wednesday last week. He also answered questions from the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday.
The CBI asked Tyagi whether the money was transferred from Italy or any other foreign country, sources in the agency told IANS.
The agency is probing if the middlemen in the deal — Guido Ralph Haschke, Carlo Vlentino Ferdinando Gerosa and Christian Michel — were behind the money transfer. Or whether Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, then chief executive officers of the Italy-based companies Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, wired the money to Tyagi.
Tyagi was quizzed about revelations made by his three cousins — Sanjeev, Rajiv and Sandeep — on Friday and Saturday. All three are named in the FIR registered by the CBI in March 2013.
The CBI on Monday also questioned the chairman of IDS Infotech Ltd (India), Pratap Kumar Aggarwal, and the CEO of Aeromatrix Info Solution Pvt Ltd, Praveen Bakshi. They were quizzed for over nine hours.
Aggarwal and Bakshi have been called for questioning again on Tuesday along with a city-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who had been questioned on four days until Saturday, CBI sources said.
CBI sources said Aggarwal and Bakshi were asked about the nature of services their companies provided to AgustaWestland.
“The CBI is verifying the genuineness of services rendered by IDS Infotech Ltd (India) and Aeromatrix India to AgustaWestland,” said a source.
The companies claim they provided engineering services to AgustaWestland.
Companies Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech Ltd (India) and Aeromatrix India have been booked by the CBI in the 2013 FIR in connection with the AgustaWestland case.
S.P. Tyagi and 13 others, including his cousins and European middlemen, are named in the FIR.
The former IAF chief has been accused in Italy and India of helping AgustaWestland win the chopper contract by reducing the flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres (15,000 feet).
He has denied the allegations and said the decision was reportedly taken in consultation with officials of the Special Protection Group and the Prime Minister’s Office. Twelve helicopters were to be bought by India.
The chopper deal, cancelled in January 2013, resurfaced after an Italian court last month purportedly referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, among others, in connection with the chopper deal but gave no details of any wrongdoing by either.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])