The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday received a fresh set of documents from the defence ministry related to the Rs 3600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal as it prepares to start from next week questioning of suspects over alleged kickbacks paid in India. CBI sources said the defence ministry has provided them with a new set of documents related to the deal but declined to give details.
They said the agency is planning to start the examination of suspects from next week. The sources said agency had asked the defence ministry to provide files related to changes made in the helicopters' parameter which suited Italian company Finmeccanica and its subsidiary supplier AgustaWestland.
An agency team is in touch with the defence ministry officials who have been asked to produce these files at the earliest, they said. The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry against 11 people including former IAF chief S P Tyagi, his three cousins, European middlemen and four companies. All the suspects have refuted the allegations.
The sources said during the enquiry, the agency's powers in summoning and carrying out searches are very limited and it is trying to complete the enquiry as early as possible. In its PE, CBI mentioned allegations that in the procurement process of the helicopters, some middlemen have influenced the deal in favour of UK-based AgustaWestland.
It is also alleged that the Italian company paid commission of several millions of Euros to the middlemen who allegedly passed on a share to several Indian nationals through Tunisia and Mauritius route in the garb of engineering contracts with two India-based companies, the preliminary enquiry said.