Agustawestland chopper Scam: ED summons former IAF chief SP Tyagi
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday summoned former IAF (Indian Air Force) chief SP Tyagi as a part of on going probe in the VVIP AgustaWestland chopper scam.
According to news reports, the former IAF chief has been summoned under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. However, the date of hearing is yet to be revealed publicly due to the sensitivity of the case.
Tyagi, reportedly, will be asked to reveal about the money trail from AgustaWestland that landed at his office when he was the chief. Tyagi had allegedly met several AgustaWestland officials in the presence of his cousins, Sanjeev Kumar (Juli), Docsa and Sandeep, during his incumbency, the verdict of the Milan Appellate Court said. The verdict contradicted Tyagi’s earlier claim that his cousins acted alone and that he was not aware of the change in specifications of the helicopter.
The court order also said that the Tyagi brothers knew even before Tyagi became IAF chief on December 2004 that the Defence Ministry was planning to lower the altitude requirements for the helicopters.
This information was shared with middleman Guido Haschke who later communicated it to AgustaWestland officials, particularly former Finmeccanica chief executive Giuseppe Orsi, now convicted by the Italian court for corruption.
The court records show that Tyagi met AgustaWestland officials in Delhi between January 22-25, 2006. At that time, he was the Air Chief Marshal. Exactly a year later, he met Bruno Spagnolini, Haschke and his associate middleman Carlo Gerosa, both times in the company of his cousins.
Tyagi was IAF chief until March 31, 2007.
Just before Tyagi assumed office in December 2004, Sanjeev Kumar made a ‘proposal’ to Haschke - of information and help against a fee. The sum agreed was 10.5 million Euros. Of which, according to Haschke, 3 million Euros was paid. The Tyagi brothers received 100,000 Euros (approx Rs 7,584,495) in cash immediately.
SP Tyagi had on Tuesday denied allegations that he had influenced the Rs 3,600-crore deal for VVIP helicopters in favour of Italy's AgustaWestland. "They have blamed me for corrupt practices in which I changed the height to assist AgustaWestland, although this decision was not against the public interest. But I was nevertheless being (called) corrupt. It would appear that the part of the loot came to me. I am shocked," he said.
Tyagi is accused of tailoring specifications to favour AgustaWestland in the deal for 12 choppers to be supplied to India. Investigators allege that middlemen like Michel and Guido Haschke, hired by the Italian firm, connected with his cousins.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Department is all set to question Tyagi for the first time in a case of money laundering. The ED’s investigation mentions that money reached the three cousins of Tyagi.