New Delhi: In an unprecedented move, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and two others in the AgustaWestland case.
“The arrested accused will be produced tomorrow (Saturday) before a competent court in Delhi,” CBI spokeswoman Devpreet Singh told the media here to officially announce the arrests.
Besides Tyagi, Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan and Sanjeev Tyagi, alias Julie Tyagi, were also arrested by the agency.
All three were arrested on the allegations of "accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt or illegal means",
Investigators have accused the retired Air Marshal of helping AgustaWestland bag the Rs. 3,727 crore chopper contract by tailoring specifications at the instance of his cousins.
The former Air Force chief provided "unique favours" to AgustaWestland and channelised funds for bribe, it has been alleged.
He is also being accused of changing the "official parameters" in order to favour the firm.
Tyagi, who retired in 2007 and was questioned by the CBI extensively in the recent past, has denied allegations that he had influenced the multi-crore deal.
Earlier in August, key middleman Christian James Michel had written to CBI to withdraw an Interpol red corner notice against him in return for cooperation.
In the letter dated August 25, the English law firm representing him said Michel is ready to assist the CBI and requested for a meeting.
He claimed that he is innocent and he can help the agency with information.
This was the first official communication by the middleman in AgustaWestland case to an investigating agency in India.
Michel had allegedly played a key role in the gustaWestland deal to supply 12 VVIP choppers to India in 2010.
AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, allegedly paid over Rs 370 crore as kickbacks to secure the deal.