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Now, ‘politicians’ to come under CBI scanner in VVIP chopper scam: Report

After former Indian Air Force Chief SP Tyagi, politicians who were allegedly identified by the middlemen in the Rs 3,546-crore AgustaWestland scam are likely to come under CBI’s radar
India TV News Desk New Delhi January 05, 2017 9:29 IST
India TV News Desk

After former Indian Air Force Chief SP Tyagi, politicians who were allegedly identified by the middlemen in the Rs 3,546-crore AgustaWestland scam are likely to come under CBI’s radar

Times of India, in its report, quoted top CBI sources saying that they were required to examine those named by the alleged middleman, UK national Christian Michel, in his two notes. 

“The arrest of former Air chief does not bring the probe to a close. It marks the beginning of the investigation,” a senior source was quoted by Times of India as saying. 

“The two notes were taken cognizance of by an Italian court when it convicted Bruno Spagnolini and Guiseppe Orsi, the former bosses of AgustaWestland and its Italy-based parent company Finmeccanica, in April this year for bribing Indian officials in connection with the chopper deal. The need for investigation require that we view the notes as evidence,” he added. 

According to the report, Michel, in one of his notes, described Congress President Sonia Gandhi as the “driving force behind the VIP (choppers), she will no longer fly with MI-8”.

Besides Gandhi, the note also targeted the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then defence minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel. 

The second note by the alleged middleman Michel was headlined “budget expenditure items”. Michel dictated it to another middleman Guido Haschke in 2008 when AgustaWestland was seeking to bag the Rs 3,546-crore deal for supplying 12 choppers. 

The note, written by Michel in 2008, mentioned acronyms, like “FAM” and “AP”, who were to be allegedly paid bribes totalling 30 million euros. 

However, the report quoted a senior source saying that CBI has not yet accepted conclusion of the Italian investigators that AP was a reference to Congress president’s political advisor Ahmed Patel. 

The indication that the CBI was getting to move the investigation to cover the "political angle" comes at a time when it has been accused of pursuing Modi government's political vendetta.