Facing the threat of cancellation of its Rs 3,600 crore deal for VVIP choppers, AgustaWestland has asked the Indian Government to release its payments, claiming the breach of contract.
In a letter written to the ministries of Defence, Finance and External Affairs, the Anglo-Italian firm has said that there were certain 'contractual difficulties' with the Defence Ministry and asked for its payments to be released.
India has paid around 30% of payments and withheld the remaining after the Italian investigators arrested former CEOs of Finmeccanica and Agusta for allegedly paying Rs 362 crore kickbacks to swing the deal in its favour.
The firm has said that till proven guilty, no one can be held guilty and investigations were still on in both the countries in the case.
The case is registered by CBI and has question IAF chief S P Tyagi.
In another development, an Indian court has allowed bank accounts of two of the accused, reportedly cousins of S P Tyagi, to be 'de-frozen'. Suspecting that the bribe money had gone into those accounts, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation had 'frozen' the accounts earlier.
As the possibility of blacklisting by the Indian government looms over AgustaWestland following the termination of the VVIP helicopter deal, its participation in various other military tenders worth an estimated $3.5 billion also hang in the balance
Referring to press reports related to the possible cancellation of the contract for the supply of 12 VVIP AW101 helicopters to India, Finmeccanica confirms that its subsidiary company, AgustaWestland, has received no such communication from Indias MOD. Finmeccanica is confident in India's reputation for fair and transparent proceedings and respect for the rule of law, for which India has an established reputation
AgustaWestland (AW) which is facing bribery charges in the sale of 12 VVIP AW101 helicopters to the Indian Air Force has contested a report of Indias Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) “in the interest of accuracy of balance”. In a communication to the CAG last week, AW has said that it would have been able to demonstrate flight operations at a height of 6,000 meters rather than 4,500 meters as was mandated in the 2006 RFP
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
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