The Indian Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said that all new deals with Finmeccanica, parent company of AgustaWestland, will be put on hold until further notice.
"An internal circular/advisory has been issued to not further process any acquisition project in which Finmeccanica is in the fray as a vendor till we get the attorney general's opinion on the entire blacklisting issue in the VVIP helicopter case (the 556 million Euro contract was scrapped on January 1)," an MOD official was quoted as saying by The Times of India newspaper.
The news comes soon after Finmeccanica entered a plea bargain with Italian prosecutors in connection with the Indian-VVIP helicopter bribery charge. And has agreed to pay a fine in return of the company not being made criminally liable for the alleged actions of bribery by its former top executives who face prison terms.
Thus clearing Finmeccanica of any possible charges still held against the company’s former CEO Giuseppe Orsi and former CEO of AgustaWestland Bruno Spagnolini and several middlemen. The prosecutors have agreed not to press for a clause that makes the Italian defence company liable for crimes committed by its employees in return of what Finmeccanica calls a "negligible fine" to be paid by the entity, according to various media reports.
"The decision to settle with the Prosecutor was taken, in light of the reorganization underway within the Finmeccanica Group, to refocus energies on business and market opportunities globally. This decision is not in any way an admission of any wrongdoing or liability," the company has said in a statement on the plea bargain.
Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors are pushing for a six-year jail term for Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and a five-year term for AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini for hiring middlemen to funnel bribes to Indian officials.
India has since cancelled the deal for 12 VVIP choppers and New Delhi has already recovered 228 out of the 252 million Euros it had paid for the contract by invoking the integrity pact and encashing of bank guarantees.
The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not arresting former IAF chief SP Tyagi and his cousins may help the defense argument in the trial against previous Finmeccanica executives Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini in an Italian court. The CBI has been investigating the alleged payment of bribe in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter purchase case
Helicopter procurement programs worth billions of dollars could be delayed or altogether cancelled in India following the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery scandal which is being investigated in Italy and India. India has already put further payments and delivery of the AW101 helicopters on hold till the pendency of an investigation by its Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which has found grounds to charge the former chief of the Indian Air Force, S
Finmeccanica Chairman and Chief Executive Giuseppe Orsi was arrested today by the Italian police in connection to a “possible international corruption” involving the sale of 12 VVIP helicopters to India worth $750 million. According to the prosecutor investigating the case, Orsi is being scrutinized for corruption and embezzlement in relation to alleged bribes given to the Indian government
AgustaWestland has termed the allegations of bribery relating to the sale of 12 VVIP helicopters to India as “baseless” at Aero India 2013. “The truth has prevailed,” said Geoff Hoon, AgustaWestland's Managing Director for International Business in an interview with defenseworld
The Indian Government has not ordered any inquiry into the allegations of bribery concerning the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters in the absence of specific information. Augusta Westland was awarded the contract valued at 556 million Euros with deliveries expected to begin in 2013
Arms deals that come with hefty price tags are being cancelled in growing numbers with governments preferring to procure weapons for lower costs or develop them indigenously. Earlier this year, India cancelled a $650 million deal with BAE Systems for the procurement of M-777 howitzers
Finmeccanica today clarified in a statement that it has not received any official communication from any relevant authorities from India regarding the recent media reports on decisions made by the Ministry of Defense pertaining to its existing and future contracts in India. Local media reported Monday that Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries will be allowed to continue doing business in India and will not face blacklisting
Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries will be allowed to continue doing business in India and will not face blacklisting, according to a report published by India Today magazine. The Indian government has placed conditions, which will disallow the company from getting any new order where there is another vendor option, the report said
The Indian Ministry of Defense yesterday confirmed that it would indefinitely put on hold all projects with Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries, although the order has already been in place nearly a month. Defenseworld
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