No evidence of corruption in AgustaWestland deal, Italy court explains acquittals in case

The chances of the prosecution presenting a new appeal have been greatly reduced after the order on the second appeal trial.

No evidence of corruption in AgustaWestland deal, Italy court explains acquittals in case

The Milan court, in charge of the second appeal trial in the case of the alleged bribes paid by AgustaWestland for the 2010 sale of helicopters to India, did not see enough evidence to consider the case. The 322-page order released this week explains why Giuseppe Orsi, the former president of defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, was acquitted by the court in January this year.

Giuseppe Orsi was on January 8 acquitted of charges related to alleged bribes paid in exchange for a Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal to sell 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to India.

With the publication of this text, the court has hoped that curtains will be drawn on the issue which has already passed a first-degree trial, two appellate trials and a Supreme Court ruling. 

As per news agency Reuters, the chances of the prosecution presenting a new appeal have been greatly reduced after the order on the second appeal trial.
 
Orsi was arrested in 2014 and resigned as chief executive of the aerospace group which was later renamed as Leonardo. He was at the helm of AgustaWestland when the deal was struck and he is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes.

He had been sentenced to four-a-half-years years in jail for false accounting and corruption.

Along with Orsi, Bruno Spagnolini had also been cleared of the charges. Bruno is the former CEO of the company's helicopters subsidiary AgustaWestland who had been handed a four- year jail term on the same charges.

The case against Orsi and Spagnolini resulted from an investigation launched in 2012 into the sale of 12 luxury helicopters to India.

India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AugustaWestland in January, 2014 for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks paid by the firm for securing the deal.

India's defence ministry had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore after the arrest of Orsi and Spagnolini by Italian investigators in connection with the case.

In February 2010, India had inked the deal to acquire 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for VVIP use.

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