Expose: Italian court says Manmohan Singh blocked info, which hinders VVIP chopper scam Investigation

AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of the Italian firm Finmeccanica at the time, was the firm that in 2010 won the contract to supply 12 choppers to India for Rs 3,600 crore, specifically to fly the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister at high altitudes.In 2013, Italian prosecutors accused Finmeccanica executives of paying bribes to Indian officials, including former air force chief S.P. Tyagi and his brothers, through Michel and another middleman, Ralph Haschke, to swing the deal.

05ss1In 2013, Italian prosecutors accused Finmeccanica executives of paying bribes to Indian officials, including former air force chief S.P. Tyagi and his brothers, through Michel and another middleman, Ralph Haschke, to swing the deal.

The Italian court had earlier ruled that the 2010 deal to purchase 12 VVIP helicopters by India from AgustaWestland involved international corruption and ordered a four-and-a-half-years jail term to the former head of the company, Giuseppe Orsi.
In its 225-page order, accessed by ET, the Court of Appeals, Milan, detailed at length its grounds for conviction. At one point, it observed (translated): “This showing (of) a substantial disregard to arrive at a full explanation of facts (was) effectively demonstrated by the procedural behaviour of the Indian Ministry of Defence.”

The Italian court — equivalent to an Indian High Court — further speculated whether this may be connected to a handwritten note recovered in March 2013 from former Finmeccanica head Giuseppe Orsi’s prison cell. “Call Monti or amb. Teracciano in my name to ask him to call the PM Singh,” the note said.
tweet2Based on taped conversations of middlemen and AgustaWestland officials as well as documents shared by the Italian prosecutors, the court observed that there are ‘unequivocal indications’ that there was corruption involved in the deal and that Orsi and others in the company undertook extreme efforts to block information and destroy evidence.

In 2013, the Congress-led UPA government cancelled the VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland on grounds that the integrity pact was violated. The government has recovered most of the money paid to the Italian company for the contract and three VVIP choppers that were delivered to India have been mothballed.
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The Handwritten Note:
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Source: Economic Times and Twitter