New Delhi: Gautam Khaitan, former board member of Aeromatrix, one of the companies named in the VVIP helicopter bribery scandal, was on Thursday quizzed by CBI on his alleged links with Italian middlemen. Khaitan, an advocate, who arrived at CBI headquarters at around 10 in the morning, was grilled for nearly eight hours in connection with his alleged links with Italian middlemen - Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschkhe, CBI sources said.
They said Khaitan was also asked whether he knew about the deal and relations with former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi. During quizzing, Khaitan denied having any links with Gerosa and Haschkhe and claimed that he was a board member of the company being their lawyer but resigned after controversy about the helicopter deal surfaced, the sources claimed.
A reference to Khaitan was made in the Italian prosecutor's report filed in a court there. However, Khaitan has refuted all the allegations. The helicopter deal with AgustaWestland came under the scanner after the head of its parent Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica that is suspected of paying bribes of about Rs 362 crore in India to get orders for the helicopters was arrested, prompting the government to order a CBI probe.
The CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini were arrested by Italian investigators in connection with the case. The CEOs paid the middlemen through a consultancy contract between AgustaWestland and Gordian Services Sarl an amount of 400,000 Euros (about Rs 2.8 crore) of which 100,000 Euros (Rs 72 lakh) were paid cash to the cousins of the former Air Chief - Julie, Docsa and Sandeep, the report said.