AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam to come back to centre stage as PM returns from Italy: Report

A media report has claimed that investigations and prosecution in the VVIP chopper scam of the Congress led UPA era may pick up pace post PM Modi’s return from his recent trip to Italy.
AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam to come back to centre stage as  PM returns from Italy: Report

New Delhi: Will the classified documents related to the multi crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam lying in the Italian Court be revealed now? A media report has claimed that investigations and prosecution in the VVIP chopper scam of the Congress led UPA era may pick up pace post PM Modi’s return from his recent trip to Italy.

Such action can reveal the complete trail and the names of India’s leading political family and middlemen, who allegedly received kick-backs worth more than Rs 600 crores in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

The fact that the bribe was received in India is established beyond doubt since the Italian court has convicted the bribe givers and names of those who received the kick-back money in India are sealed in the Italian court documents, highly placed sources told Businessworld.

It may be recalled that in 2013, a court in Italy passed a judgement convicting four people, including a high profile CEO, a chairman of an Italian defence company and two middlemen, in the biggest bribery scandals linked to India.

However, the entire statements of the accused, the full text of the appeals and the final judgement of the court that could send tremors in India’s political and bureaucratic establishment, were never made public by the then Italian government under India’s pressure in 2013.

As per the sources, Italy had shared their court’s detailed judgement (225 pages) and related trail of documents (the clinching evidence) of the bribery scandal with PM or his confidants, which can nail high profile politicians and middlemen in India. It is therefore, the sources say, that PM Modi’s happiness knew no bounds, which was reflected in his speech in Italy, where he said: “I have never been so happy.”

The bribery scandal first came to light in February 2013 with the arrest of Bruno Spagnolini, the CEO of chopper manufacturer AgustaWestland and Guiseppe Orsi, the chairman of Agusta’s Italian parent company Finmeccanica.

Both along with two middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa were convicted by the Milan Court of Appeals (equivalent to India’s High Court) on charges of international corruption, bribery and money laundering to secure a chopper deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The documents containing abbreviations “AP” and “FAM” were recovered by the Swiss police and corroborated by the Italian court during the trial of Bruno Spagnolini, Guiseppe Orsi and middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

(Defence Watch– India’s Defence News centre that places the spotlight on Defence Manufacturing, Defence Technology, Strategy and Military affairs is on Twitter. Follow us here and stay updated.)

logo
Defence Watch
www.defencewatch.in