Sunday, February 24, 2013

AgustaWestland deal: CBI gets some documents from Italy

AgustaWestland deal: CBI gets some documents from Italy

Moving forward in its probe into
alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, the CBI has
procured some documents from Italian authorities in Milan that
may help it investigating whether any Indian had received
bribes to swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

           Highly-placed sources in the probe agency said today
that one of the members of the CBI team who returned this
morning from Milan had got some of the documents from the
Italian prosecutor regarding the controversial Rs 3,600 crore
deal which would be examined in the next couple of days.

The sources said a Preliminary Enquiry(PE) would be
initiated in the next couple of days after examining the
documents received from the Italian authorities. It has been
alleged that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were
allegedly paid to help secure the deal in favour of the
Anglo-Italian firm.

             While declining to reveal the nature of documents, the
sources said prima-facie it seemed sufficient to initiate a PE
against unknown persons since Italian authorities could share
only these papers at this stage. The authorities have,
however, promised to hand over other documents once their
probe is completed.

             One of the two CBI officers was still in Milan to take
some more documents and would be arriving here tomorrow, the
sources said.

             The CBI team is also pinning its hope on the assurance
made by the Italian government-controlled Finmeccanica group,
parent company of AgustaWestland helicopters, that it would
provide assistance in probing bribery allegations against some
Indian nationals.
             During the meeting, CBI officials had requested the
Italian firm to hand over the report of its internal probe to
them so that it could be examined in India and a proper
investigation could be conducted.
      The CBI team along with officials from Defence and
External Affairs Ministry had also met senior officials of the
Italian judiciary including the judge in the case to request
for assistance in probing the role of Indians in connection
with alleged kickbacks in the deal.
             Some more assistance would be provided after the local
elections in Italy would be over this week, the team was told
besides been conveyed that that the probe in that country was
at a preliminary stage

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