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Rediff.com  » News » Chopper deal: Joint team of CBI, MoD to visit Italy

Chopper deal: Joint team of CBI, MoD to visit Italy

February 16, 2013 16:23 IST

A joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the defence ministry is likely to leave for Italy on Sunday to probe the alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

CBI sources said the team will meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain the details of the case.

The sources said two members of CBI -- comprising deputy inspector general - level officer and a law officer besides officers from the defence ministry -- will be part of the team.

The decision by the CBI came as it virtually drew a blank from the defence ministry in getting some official inputs regarding alleged kickbacks, official sources said.

The CBI was handed over a letter from the defence ministry, seeking a probe by it in the case which has triggered a storm in the country. Attached with the letter were some Indian and Italian press clippings, which, the CBI said, could not form the basis for registering a case.

CBI had sought the help of the Indian Mission in Rome, which too has not been able to provide any authenticated court documents to the agency, sources said.

This was followed by CBI seeking help from the Interpol, which also expressed its inability to provide any help in the absence of any regular case not having been registered by the agency, the sources said.

The defence ministry had on Friday night sent a team led by the joint secretary and an Air Commodore of the Indian Air Force, who gave a presentation to the CBI about the tendering procedures and various stages while finalising the helicopter deal with AugustaWestland.

When pressed by the CBI officials about the kickback allegations, the team could not provide any answers to the sleuths, the sources said.

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