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AgustaWestland denies wrongdoing in chopper deal

Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland on Tuesday replied to Defence Ministry queries, denying any wrongdoing.



New Delhi: Amid the ongoing controversy over alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland on Tuesday replied to Defence Ministry queries, denying any wrongdoing.

The Ministry earlier this month had asked the firm to provide details about its transactions with Tunisia and India-based firms IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix.

The Defence Ministry today got the response from AgustaWestland about its linkages with the two software firms. AgustaWestland has denied any wrongdoing in its dealings, Defence Ministry sources said.

The company has also attached some documents with the reply for the Ministry`s perusal and denied that it has in any way violated the integrity pact, they said.

Last week the Defence Ministry had granted the firm more time to explain its linkages with the two companies after it made a request for extension of time to file its reply.

Sources also said the detailed reply of the firm is being studied by the Ministry before taking any further action.

Both Aeromatrix and IDS Infotech are based in Chandigarh and are being investigated by the CBI along with former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi and three of his cousins for allegedly ensuring that AgustaWestland won the multi-crore deal from India.

A showcause notice was issued by the Defence Ministry to AgustaWestland last month as part of the process to cancel the contract for 12 VVIP choppers.

The Ministry had asked the firm why the deal should not be cancelled in view of corruption charges against it.

The firm had replied to the letter denying any wrongdoing in the deal but Defence Minister A K Antony had rejected the response of the firm.

The Defence Minister has ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore after the arrest of CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini by Italian investigators in connection with the case.

PTI

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