An inquiry by the Indian Air Force and Ministry of Defense (MoD) may have found no substance in the AgustaWestland bribery allegations prior to handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Former Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi said in an interview to India Today magazine, "Since there were allegations, an inquiry was definitely required. But there are ways to do it. For example, a discrete one would have established (whether there was bribery or not). I know for a fact that such an internal exercise was done by the MoD and the IAF HQs."
Tyagi's statement implies that the in-house inquiry may have returned negative findings into the bribery allegations, yet the government persisted with a CBI probe.
“We knew all along that our procedures were correct. The government of the day went to the floor of the House to say that there were no violations yet their actions did not match their words. Why should we have waited for an Italian court to tell us what we knew?” Tyagi said referring to an Italian court's findings that there was no evidence of corruption by former Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper kickback scam.
"We said we knew all was fine and yet believed an 'Italian crook' and began inquiring and hounding our own men. The government simply panicked. As elected representatives, you need to have a resolve." The "Italian crook" could refer to former director of external relations at Finmeccanica turned whistleblower Lorenzo Borgogni who is credited with blowing the lid on the bribery charges.
Lorenzo had to resign amid a criminal investigation into possible illicit payments aimed at winning business for the defense contractor Enav SpA, Italy's air-traffic control agency in 2011.
Despite two years of probe, the CBI has not made any headway in the scam investigation and is likely to close the case, as per Indian media reports.
SP Tyagi and his cousins are accused of taking money to swing the deal in favor of AgustaWestland in the INR 3,600 crore (US $566 million) contract for 12 AW-101VVIP helicopters.
India has so far recovered INR 2,400 crore (US $377 million) deposited as bank guarantee in Italy and India from AgustaWestland.
Indias Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in Agustawestland VVIP chopper deal has reached an advanced stage, Minister of State for Defense Rao Inderjit Singh said in parliament on Friday. The minister said in a written reply to a question, “The investigation is in advanced stage and during the probe, the central investigative agency has sent Letters Rogatory to Italy, Tunisia, Mauritius in 2013 and UAE, UK, Switzerland, Singapore and British Virgin Islands in 2014
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is in the process of acquiring new aircraft for VVIPs. The additional aircraft will be used by President Jacob Zuma, his Deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and other persons identified by the Presidency as envoys announced in the South African Government website Tuesday
Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi plans to sue the companys former external relations manager, Lorenzo Borgogni, for alleging he paid bribes to Indian offices to secure the VVP helicopter deal. Orsi and former CEO of AgustaWestland Bruno Spagnolini received a suspended two years sentence after they were found guilty of false invoicing in the Indian deal but were acquitted of all alleged bribery charges
India's Defense Ministry has approved use of Russian Mi-17-V5 helicopters to transport persons of special importance, including the president and prime minister, according to Itar-Tass. According to repoorts, the defence ministry has approved the "conversion" of six new Mi-17 V5s into VVIP helicopters to replace the old Mi-8 helicopters with IAF's elite Communication Squadron to ferry the President and PM within the country
In connection with the judicial proceedings regarding the supply of 12 AW101 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Government, Finmeccanica today said that the judge for pre-trial investigations has decided today to grant the request for monetary measures made by the two Finmeccanica-owned companies AgustaWestland SpA and AgustaWestland Ltd, jointly with the Public Prosecutor. The judge has, in accordance with the said requests, decided to endorse the imposition of an 80,000 Euro fine regarding AgustaWestland SpA and of a 300,000 Euro fine, alongside the confiscation of 7
The Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations relating to the 12 AW101 VVIP helicopter contract signed with the Indian ministry of Defense in 2010, Finmeccanica said in a press release on 29 July. “AgustaWestland together with the Prosecutor, have agreed to apply for a negligible fine, whilst confirming the appropriateness of their internal control systems and specifically their non-involvement in the misconduct alleged by the Prosecutor
Agustawestland today has delivered three AW139 intermediate twin aircraft and has signed an order for two additional aircraft with Italian Coast Guard. “The AW139s will be used to perform a range of missions including maritime patrol, search and rescue (SAR), and emergency medical services
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