Proceedings against Finmeccannica in VVIP chopper deal shelved

Italian prosecutors have "shelved" proceedings against defence major Finmeccannica, the parent firm of AgustaWestland, saying it had nothing to do with the alleged corruption in India`s Rs 3,600-crore deal to procure 12 VVIP helicopters, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

PTI| Updated: Jul 30, 2014, 01:12 AM IST

Rome/New Delhi: Italian prosecutors have "shelved" proceedings against defence major Finmeccannica, the parent firm of AgustaWestland, saying it had nothing to do with the alleged corruption in India`s Rs 3,600-crore deal to procure 12 VVIP helicopters, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

India scrapped the deal on January 1 on the basis of alleged breach of pre-contract integrity pact and alleged payment of kickbacks to Indian agents by the firm to secure the contract.

Prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Busto Arsizio have shelved proceedings against Finmeccanica for alleged corruption in the sale to the Indian government of 12 AW-101 helicopters made by its AgustaWestland subsidiary, Ansa said in its report.
Prosecutors have stated that Finmeccanica has nothing to do with the offence, the company said in a statement issued in Italy.

The Italian firm said its two subsidiary companies have agreed to pay a fine in the contract but not admitted to any wrongdoing.

"AgustaWestland SpA and its UK subsidiary AgustaWestland Ltd, together with the prosecutor, they decided to ask for the application of administrative pecuniary sanctions of limited extent against it, also confirming the effectiveness of their control systems and the substantial strangeness towards the facts alleged by the prosecution of corruption assumed. It remains therefore excluded any admission of wrongdoing on the part of both companies," the firm said.

Finmeccannica said the "two companies have taken this decision (to pay fine) on the basis of the radical reorganisation of the Finmeccanica group, based on the desire to focus on the business activities and take full advantage of the potential of the market."