New Delhi: In a major setback to the Indian team investigating the tainted AgustaWestland chopper deal, the Italian court on Saturday refused to share its probe-related documents saying it couldn't share evidence. Earlier, Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid had said that India was trying to get access to the details of the chargesheet in the Italian court. He had also remained non-committal on the deal being called off.
"We have attempted to get details but because of procedural issues, which continue even now, there has been a paucity of specific information on which objective decisions could be taken about an investigation," he said, adding, "Any further steps that are taken should be taken, keeping in mind, both our entitlement as far as the contracts are concerned and the implications for it for ourselves."
Meanwhile, in another turn to the case, the lawyer of Giuseppe Orsi, the former CEO of the Finmeccanica who has been arrested in connection with the scam, said that his client never met "the Indian family" for the deal.
"I wouldn't say Orsi collaborated. He defended himself correctly and represented the facts with great lucidity and with great incisiveness. He basically said 'No' three times: 'I never gave Guido Ralph Haschke any task. I never met the Indian family; I never heard about illicit manoeuvre before the call for bids," lawyer Ennio Amodio revealed.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation is preparing to start its investigations into the Rs 3,600 crore deal. It has already registered a complaint on the basis of the Defence Ministry report. As it now gets ready to file a Preliminary Enquiry report, sources say, the CBI will focus on a few important things.
In India, the CBI will focus on IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, two Chandigarh-based companies, that have been named in the probe report. According to documents, 510,000 euros were paid per month through engineering contracts to IDS India and IDS Tunisia. Praveen Bakshi, the head of Aeromatrix, has reportedly gone underground now.
- AgustaWestland chopper deal probe may point to more defence personnel
- Preparing to clarify points raised by India: AgustaWestland