Defence Ministry`s team returning from Italy on Friday

Last Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 00:07

New Delhi: The Defence Ministry`s one-member team looking into allegations of corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal is returning on Friday from Italy after meeting officials of the court investigating the case there and the accused firm Finmeccanica.

The Defence Ministry is also keenly awaiting the reply of AgustaWestland to the show cause notice issued by it as the deadline for the firm to answer it ends Friday evening.

Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager (Air) Arun Kumar Bal is returning after meeting officials of the Italian court and top officials of Finmeccanica, sources said here.

The officer has been able to gather some papers related to the scam and these would be analysed once he submits them with his report, they said.

Bal had left India on Monday evening with a mandate to collect as much evidence as possible and in this connection, he had visited Milan and other nearby localities of the city. The trial of the bribery scandal is going on in Milan.

The Italian court of Busto Arsizio is hearing the case in which Italian investigators have arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini for allegedly paying kickbacks to secure the Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying 12 AW-101 choppers to India.

Soon after the arrest was made in Italy, Defence Minister A K Antony ordered a CBI probe into the matter. He also initiated the process of cancelling the deal by sending a show cause notice to AgustaWestland asking it why the deal should not be cancelled in view of the charges against it.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 23:47

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