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VIP chopper case: Congress party`s stand vindicated, says Rajiv Shukla

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 14:13

New Delhi: Congress leader Rajeev Shukla on Wednesday stated that his party`s stand has been vindicated in the VVIP chopper case, following the Italian prosecutors shelving proceedings against Finmeccanica and also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for insulting Congress leaders unnecessarily.

"BJP has been trying to take political mileage out of this, they were unnecessarily insulting Congress leaders, who were not related to it and therefore it was not correct," Shukla said.

In a new twist in the scam-tainted VVIP chopper deal, Italian prosecutors have shelved proceedings against Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, in the case of alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

AgustaWestland has reportedly agreed to pay a fine, while reiterating it knew nothing about the alleged bribery.

According to media reports, prosecutors earlier this month had sought that the former CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi be sentenced for six years and former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini get five years in prison for allegedly paying the bribes.

AgustaWestland`s Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force has been scrapped by the Indian government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents.

The government had cancelled AgustaWestland `s contract on January 1 this year, and began the process of encashing bank guarantees of the Anglo- Italian firm worth around Rs 2,200 crore rupees deposited in banks of Italy and India.

Orsi has reportedly denied any wrongdoing, telling a preliminary investigations judge that all his actions were motivated by the exclusive interest of Finmeccanica and all its subsidiaries.

He also denied knowing the family of former IAF chief S P Tyagi. Prosecutors alleged that members of Tyagi`s family received bribes paid by Finmeccanica to secure the contract for 12 VVIP choppers for the IAF.

First Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 14:13
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