London: The chairman and chief executive of the Italian defence firm Finnmeccanica has stepped down from his post, following his arrest in Italy as part of a corruption scandal involving the sale of helicopters to the Indian government.
Giuseppe Orsi, who has denied the allegation, is facing allegations that the Agusta Westland unit of the Italian firm used bribes to gain the Indian contract, worth 750 million dollars, for 12 helicopters in 2010, BBC News reports.
According to India’s defence ministry, payments to Finnmeccanica would be frozen while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out its probe into the controversial aircraft deal.
A legal notice to cancel the Finnmeccanica aircraft contract had been issued by the defence ministry, the report added.
The aircraft, of which three had already been delivered, were to be used for the purpose of transporting India’s top politicians, including the president and the prime minister.
Announcing his decision to resign in a letter, Orsi said that he had always worked for the interest of the firm and its subsidiaries, and added that he wanted to calm the atmosphere at Finnmeccanica by resigning.