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Former IAF chief SP Tyagi was involved in VVIP Chopper deal: Italian Court

India TV News Desk 26 Apr 2016, 7:53:13 AM IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: An Italian court has accused former Indian Air Force Chief SP Tyagi  of involvement in the Augusta Westland VVIP chopper deal , saying there was "reasonable belief that corruption took place in the case, the Economic Times reports.

Tyagi was IAF chief in 2005-07, when Rs 3,565-crore VVIP chopper deal was being processed by air headquarters.

In its 225-page judgement page, the Milan court of Appeals said payments in cash as well as through wire transfers were made to the Tyagi family — three of the former air chief 's cousins — and a part of them were destined for the officer himself.

The court said it was "validly proven" that a part of $10-15 million in illicit funds made their way to Indian officials.

The Italian court has also observed that the erstwhile UPA government held back key information and showed substantial disregard in arriving at the complete truth behind Rs 3,565-crore deal VVIP chopper scandal.

Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica's former chief Giuseppe Orsi has already been sentenced by the Milan appeals court to 4.5 years in jail for false accounting and corruption over the sale of 12 VVIP choppers to India for Rs 3,600 crore.

In the ruling, which overtured a previous court order of 2014, Bruno Spagnolini, the former CEO of Finmeccanica's helicopter subsidiary AgustaWestland, was also handed a four- year prison term by the court yesterday.

The Court had ruled that the Rs 3,565-crore Agusta-Westland contract involved payoffs to Indian officials.

The court found both guilty of corruption in relation to the sale of 12 helicopters to the Indian government and sentenced Orsi to a jail term of four and a half years.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland came under the scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribe was paid by the company to clinch the deal.

The Italian prosecutor who carried out the preliminary inquiry alleged that the chief executive officer (CEO) of Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, had allegedly used the services of middlemen to bribe Indian officials.