» News » Chopper scam: ED questions ex-IAF chief Tyagi on day 2

Chopper scam: ED questions ex-IAF chief Tyagi on day 2

Source: PTI
May 06, 2016 16:10 IST
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The Enforcement Directorate on Friday questioned former Air Force chief S P Tyagi for the second day in connection with the controversial Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.

He was subjected to a marathon 10-hour questioning on Thursday by ED investigators.

ED officials said Tyagi arrived at the zonal office of the agency as he was required to be put through more questions and evidences collected in the case.

Agency sources had on Thursday said he was questioned about his role in the deal and his statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The retired Air Chief Marshal was questioned in the same case by the Central Bureau of Investigation for three days this week but this is for the first time he was being summoned by the ED.

Agency sources had earlier indicated that Tyagi’s questioning was necessary in the light of a recent judgment of a Milan (Italy) court which had sentenced Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica's former chief Giuseppe Orsi and the former CEO of the firm Bruno Spagnolini on corruption charges in the sale of a dozen AgustaWestland helicopters to India for VVIP use.

Tyagi’s name cropped at various points in the said judgment.

The allegation against the former Air chief is that he allegedly reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland could be included in the bids.

He took over as the Indian Air Force chief on December 31, 2005 and retired from service in 2007.

ED had registered a PMLA case in this regard in 2014 and named 21 people including Tyagi in its money laundering FIR. It had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan and had also filed a chargesheet last year.

ED had earlier submitted that Khaitan was on the board of Chandigarh-based company Aeromatrix which was allegedly a front firm for the financial dealings in the chopper deal.

Tyagi, however, has denied any wrongdoing on his part.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

The central agency has also issued Letters Rogatory (judicial requests) to 10 countries in this case.


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