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Former IAF chief Tyagi met AgustaWestland official in presence of his cousins: Italian court

Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi had met several AgustaWestland officials in the presence of his cousins during his incumbency, the verdict of the Milan Appellate Court said, contradicting Tyagi’s earlier claim that his cousins acted alone and that
India TV News Desk April 29, 2016 10:56 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi had met several AgustaWestland officials in the presence of his cousins during his incumbency, the verdict of the Milan Appellate Court said, contradicting 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 – Sanjeev Kumar (Juli), Docsa and Sandeep – 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.