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Rediff.com  » News » CBI gets phone transcripts on chopper scam from Italy

CBI gets phone transcripts on chopper scam from Italy

May 13, 2013 16:38 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has received transcripts of telephone conversations between Italian middlemen and officials of a defence firm, in which the Italy government has a 30 per cent stake, and others in connection with the VVIP helicopter scam.

The transcripts of the telephone calls were handed over to the defence ministry, which has been made an "affected party" by the Italian prosecutors, official sources said on Monday. They have since been given to the CBI.

The transcripts were in Italian language and the CBI was busy translating the same so that a follow-up action could be taken, the sources said.

The transcripts are related to phone conversations of alleged middlemen Haschke Guido and Gerosa Carlo, which were tapped by Italian authorities and have been quoted in their preliminary enquiry report.

According to Italian rules, all documents during any probe have to be shared with the affected parties.

The supply of 12 VVIP Helicopters from AgustaWestland had come under scanner after Italian authorities alleged that the bribe money was given by the company to clinch the deal.

The Italian prosecutor, who carried out the preliminary enquiry, alleged that the CEO of Finmeccanica, the parent company of United Kingdom-based AgustaWestland, had used services of middlemen to distribute bribes in India.

It was not immediately known whether the transcripts gave any clues about the involvement of alleged Indian middlemen.

The CBI, which carried out a probe in India, had named 13 individuals including the former Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi and European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke in the FIR as accused, in connection with the alleged bribe payment.

The CBI has alleged that during his tenure as air chief, Tyagi and "with his approval" the air force, "conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 meters to 4,500 meters as mandatory, to which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons".

According to the FIR, "Haschke Guido and Gerosa Carlo (middlemen) managed to send Euro 5.6 million through Mohali-based IDS Infotech and Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Limited to India and kept the remaining amount out of about Euro 24.30 million received from AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia".

The CBI will also look for some more evidence into alleged remittances to Tyagi brothers and softening of IAF's stand on service ceiling of the helicopter in the transcript, the sources said. 

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