ibnlive » India

Mar 08, 2013 at 11:29pm IST

AgustaWestland deal: CBI set to name ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi in FIR

New Delhi: In a huge setback for former Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to file an FIR against him under sections of cheating and bribery in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal. CBI officials believe that Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi accepted a bribe from his cousins to help AgustaWestland's entry into the tender process to supply 12 VVIP helicopter to India.

Sources say SP Tyagi's cousins - Sanjeev and Docsa Tyagi - were involved in defence deals in India and not power projects as they have been claiming. Sources says kickbacks were paid to the Tyagi brothers through fake engineering contracts in Mauritius and Tunisia

Lawyer Gautam Khaitan and businessman Parveen Bakshi of Aeromatrix allegedly routed bribe money to the Tyagis, say sources. They also say that during interrogation, SP Tyagi named late Brajesh Mishra and the Special Protection Group (SPG) for recommending change in tender conditions. Sources add that Tyagi, his cousins, Gautam Khaitan and Parveen Bakshi will be booked under charges of cheating and bribery.

Sources say that former SPG chief and present Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo is also under the scanner and the money trail has been tracked. Alleged middlemen Guido Haschke and former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi are allegedly responsible for giving bribes to the Tyagi brothers.

Sources say that the CBI is basing its investigations on the Italian probe report into the Finmeccanica deal. Alleged middleman Haschke has confessed to the police to have met SP Tyagi six-seven times.

However, Tyagi has denied meeting Haschke. Another alleged middleman Christian Michel allegedly promised to transfer 'huge amount of money' through Tyagi cousins to SP Tyagi.

The allegations against the Tyagi cousins - Juli, Docsa and Sandeep - are also based on the Italian probe report. Haschke and Gerosa were allegedly commissioned specifically to use the brothers to help swing the deal and 400,000 Euros were paid as commission to each middleman, out of which 100,000 Euros allegedly went to the Tyagis.

The FIR will also include names of Gautam Khaitan - former Director of Aeromatrix and the company's head Praveen Bakshi - both already questioned by the CBI. Both names figure prominently in conversations between Haschke and Gerosa - recorded by the Italian police. CNN-IBN has exclusively accessed excerpts of those conversations.

An excerpts of the conversations:

Gerosa: ...(unclear) its enough that they say: I receive orders, that ...(unclear), I receive orders from (unclear)... there in India, this we can't say openly to Gautam however

Haschke: No but he knows it very well. His presence is not negotiable. The orders of recycling we give them to him but the recycling is done by him. We are really a group dedicated to criminal ends.

Gerosa: You won't block the discourse on the other issue? (unclear)

Haschke: Yes, that's what I thought. Because if Gautam fears that Aeromatrix will get involved, he already told me, have you heard or not, Praveen is already nicely agitated?

Who are the people they take orders from, still remains a mystery. The conversations later on also categorically talk about money transfers through Tunisia to Bakshi and Khaitan who will now find themselves named in the CBI FIR.

Going by the track record of CBI in defence kick back cases, we will have to wait to see if this probe leads to proof. The past probes have not led to much revelations.