Chopper deal: Court issues Letters Rogatory to five countries

A special CBI court on Friday issued letters rogatory (LRs) to the competent authorities of United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland,Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and British Virgin Island in connection with probe into the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal scam.

PTI| Updated: Aug 29, 2014, 22:38 PM IST

New Delhi: A special CBI court on Friday issued letters rogatory (LRs) to the competent authorities of United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland,Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and British Virgin Island in connection with probe into the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal scam.

The order came after CBI moved the court seeking issuance of LRs to these five countries for its probe and collection of documents in the case in which retired Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi and various others were named as accused in the FIR.

"Heard. Let the LR be issued to the competent authority, Switzerland....For obtaining original/authenticated documents as given in annexure III and recording statements of witnesses / persons as mentioned in annexure IV of the application," Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain said.

SP Tyagi, his cousins Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke are among the 13 individuals named as accused in the CBI's FIR.

Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt Ltd and its CEO Praveen Bakshi are also accused in the case. Legal advisor and former board member of accused firm IDS Infotech, Gautam Khaitan and Bakshi had allegedly routed bribe money to the Tyagis, CBI had alleged.

CBI, in its FIR, has booked all the accused under the provisions of the IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

It had claimed that Tyagi's decision to reduce service ceiling -- maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally -- allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to come into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.

CBI had also alleged that AgustaWestland managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine and eventually succeeded in getting the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from the Defence Ministry mainly due to softening of the IAF on service ceiling after Tyagi took over as its chief.

Six companies including Italy-based Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, Mohali-based IDS Infotech, Aeromatrix, IDS Tunisia and IDS Mauritius have been booked by CBI in its FIR.

All the accused have refuted allegations against them.