ED to verify process to summon Italians over chopper deal

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a court here Monday that it will verify the process of serving summons to two Italian nationals summoned as accused in a money-laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

IANS| Updated: Jan 20, 2015, 00:27 AM IST

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a court here Monday that it will verify the process of serving summons to two Italian nationals summoned as accused in a money-laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

The ED told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge V.K. Gupta that it will inform about the process of serving summons to the foreign nationals -- Gerosa Carlo Valentino Ferdinand and Haschke Guido Ralph.

The court in December last year issued summons to the two Italians, businessman Gautam Khaitan and his wife Ritu Khaitan alongwith Chandigarh-based firm Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

The Khaitan couple have appeared before the court. Meanwhile, Ritu Khaitan has moved a bail application.

The court posted the matter for hearing on the bail application and further proceedings Feb 2.

The ED in November 2014 had filed a chargesheet naming Khaitan, his wife Ritu, Aeromatrix and the two Italian middlemen as accused in the case and booked them for offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Khaitan was on the board of Aeromatrix and was arrested a day after the ED searched his premises Sep 22 last year. He was granted bail Jan 9.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland came under scrutiny after the Italian authorities alleged that the company paid a bribe to clinch the deal with India, inked in February 2010.

Following the allegations, India Jan 1, 2014, terminated the Rs.3,600 crore (about $770 million) deal with AgustaWestland for the purchase of the choppers meant to ferry the president, the prime minister and other VIPs.