New Delhi: CBI on Thursday quizzed a senior Air Force officer as witness in connection with alleged corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP Helicopter deal in which former Air Chief is one of the suspects. Without naming the officer, CBI sources said an Air Marshal level officer was examined as witness to clarify technical issues related to the tender of 12 helicopters for which UK-based AgustaWestland was chosen as successful bidder.
Sources said the agency wanted to know details of alterations done in the helicopter specifications and whether it had suited the UK company. Former IAF Chief SP Tyagi was booked by CBI along with 12 others, including his three cousins for alleged cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal and searches were carried out at 14 locations including his the former IAF chief's residence.
CBI has alleged that AgustaWestland managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine and eventually succeeded in getting the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from the Defence Ministry mainly due to softening of the IAF on service ceiling after Tyagi took over as its Chief. It has alleged that Italian middleman Guido Haschke, through his Tunisia-based company Gordian Services Sarl, entered into several consultancy contracts with AgustaWestland from 2004-05 and "almost on back-to-back basis he also made consultancy contracts with the Tyagi brothers (Tyagi's cousins), the sources said.
Under the cover of these contracts, Haschke allegedly sent 1.26 lakh Euros and two lakh Euros to the Tyagi brothers. "Besides these two remittances, Tyagi brothers also received some unquantified sum of money from the middlemen (Haschke and Carlos Gerosa)," the FIR said.