Court adjourns hearing in AgustaWestland case

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New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) A court here on Monday adjourned hearing on the consideration of the chargesheet in Rs 3,726 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case against former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi and eight others.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Arvind Kumar deferred the hearing in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case for October 9.

The CBI on September 1 filed a chargesheet against Tygai, his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie, then IAF Vice Chief J.S. Gujral, advocate Gautam Khaitan, Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica’s former chief Giuseppe Orsi, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and three European middleman Christian Michel, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

In the chargesheet, Khaitan is described as the “brain” behind the deal.A

Orsi and Spagnolini have already been sentenced by an Italian court for bribing Indian officials to get the contract illegally.

Tyagi, who was Indian Air Force chief from 2004 to 2007, his brother Sanjeev and Khaitan were allegedly involved in irregularities in the procurement of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from Britain-based AgustaWestland. They were arrested in December last year by the agency in connection with the case.Currently they are out on bail.

The CBI, which registered an FIR in the case on March 12, 2013, has alleged that Tyagi and the other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help the manufacturer win the contract. The FIR mentioned charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI said the company was favoured in lieu of illegal gratification accepted through different companies in the name of consultancy services.

Tyagi, the CBI has alleged, took bribes of several crores, through middlemen and a complex route of companies in several countries, from AgustaWestland to change the specifications of the contract – reducing the operational flight ceiling from 6,000 metres, as originally proposed, to 4,500 metres and bringing down the cabin height to 1.8 metres.

The CBI probe revealed that several payments were made to the Tyagi brothers by European middlemen Haschke, Gerosa and Michel as part of the alleged bribery.

–IANS

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