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VVIP chopper deal: Former Finmeccanica CEO grilled

February 28, 2013 17:52 IST

Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi was questioned by an Italian magistrate on Wednesday in connection with allegations that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were paid in India to bag VVIP helicopter deal.

"Orsi was questioned yesterday by Busto Arsizio magistrate Eugenio Fusco. The questioning was held at Busto Arsizio district prison," D'Antona and partners -- a law firm hired by the former Finmeccanica CEO, said in a release.

"Orsi, with the assistance of his attorneys, Professor Ennio Amodio and Professor Novella Galantini, answered to all requests made by the prosecutor and sustained that the helicopters sale tender to Indian government was held regularly," it said.

Orsi and former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini have been arrested for their alleged role in paying kickbacks to secure the Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying 12 AW-101 choppers to the IAF.

The release said that at the end of the questioning, "Professor Amodio expressed his confidence in the imminent revocation of the precautionary measure, having being clarified all elements that brought to this decision and since there is no longer any reason to detain Orsi."

After the arrest of the two former CEOs, India initiated the process to cancel the deal by issuing a show cause notice to AgustaWestland.

The firm denied the charges made against it in its reply, which has been rejected by Defence Minister A K Antony.

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