ibnlive » India

Oct 19, 2013 at 12:19am IST

Agustawestland deal: Will Haschke's arrest bring more names to light?

New Delhi: The AgustaWestland chopper deal is in the news once again after the Swiss authorities arrested a key middleman Guido Haschke on charges of bribery on Friday. The arrest of Haschke is crucial in exposing the Indian link and also establishing the money trail. Guido Haschke is former consultant of Finmeccanica Group companies. He was paid 400,000 euros for 'advisory consultation' and was also assusred 5 per cent commission of the total value of deal.

He is accused of playing key role in acting as a middleman. He has also confessed meeting former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi 6-7 times. He provided information regarding Indian defence requirements for purchasing helicopters. He was commissioned to undertake negotiation in India along with Michel - who would do the backroom negotiations.

Earlier, CNN-IBN had tried to track down Haschke but got evasive responses at his residence in Switzerland.

The CBI will have to wait to get his hands on Haschke as he has to be extradited to Italy first, where the investigations are still on.

The CBI sources has said that Haschke is an accused in the case. "Guido Haschke is an accused. We will explore all legal avenues. We have already sent letters rogatory to Switzerland and we are also in the process of sending letters rogatory to Italy. Our action will of course depend on their response," said the CBI sources.

A case which saw Tyagi and his cousins being named in the FIR was in deep freeze for a while, but with this arrest, the case is showing signs of life once again. The probe could bring bad news for many in the days ahead.