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IAF ex-chief and deputy summoned in chopper scam

NEW DELHI

A court on Wednesday issued summons to former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi and others in the multi-million dollar AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.

After taking cognisance of the charge sheet, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued the summons, asking them to appear in court on December 20.

Those issued summons included Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev alias Julie, then IAF vice-chief JS Gujral, advocate Gautam Khaitan, Italian company Finmeccanica, its subsidiary AgustaWestland, and IDS Infotech.

The companies will be represented by their authorised representatives.

The court also issued fresh open-ended non-bailable warrants against alleged middlemen Christian Michel and Guido Haschke.

The CBI on September 1 filed a charge sheet against Tyagi, Sanjeev, Gujral, Khaitan, Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica’s former chief Giuseppe Orsi, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and three European alleged middleman Christian Michel, Guido Haschke, and Carlo Gerosa.

Orsi and Spagnolini have already been sentenced by an Italian court for bribing Indian officials to get the contract illegally.

Tyagi, who was the Indian Air Force chief from 2004 to 2007, his brother Sanjeev and Khaitan were allegedly involved in irregularities in the procurement of 12AW-101 VVIP helicopters from Britain-based AgustaWestland. They were arrested in December last year. Currently, they are out on bail.

The CBI, which registered a report in the case on March 12, 2013 has alleged that Tyagi and other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help the manufacturer win the contract. The report mentioned charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Indo-Asian News Service