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Chopper deal: Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi applies for bail


Sanjay Suri,CNN-IBN
Feb 18, 2013 at 08:37pm IST

Rome: Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi has reportedly applied for bail. His lawyer Ennio Amodio told CNN-IBN that he is currently in talks with the prosecution over the matter. Orsi was arrested following investigations into the tainted AgustaWestland chopper deal with India. He was suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes regarding the sale of helicopters produced by the subsidiary company of Finmeccanica.

Orsi's lawyer also said that the case against him was based on false information. "There is no proof to show any payments were made to anybody in India, including the Tyagis," he added.

ALSO SEE Italian chopper deal: PM speaks out, says government has nothing to hide

Meanwhile, the CBI team will leave for Italy on Monday night to investigate whether firms were floated in India to route bribes from the deal. The team will try to meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain details of the case.

The Ministry of Defence, on the other hand, has put on hold the receipt of the remaining nine of the 12 helicopters for which the Rs 3600 crore deal was struck in 2010.

Meanwhile, on Monday, in his first public comments on the tainted deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government has nothing to hide while adding that it was ready to discuss everything at a Parliamentary forum on the chopper deal. "Parliament is the forum to discuss everything and we are ready to discuss everything there. We have nothing to hide," said the Prime Minister.

Earlier, sources said that the Prime Minister's Office was reportedly unhappy with the unilateral proposal of the Defence Ministry to cancel the AgustaWestland 101 helicopter deal. Defence Minister AK Antony is reportedly inclined to cancel the deal in view of the bribery allegations against former Indian Air Force head Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi.

The government, however, is non-committal on axing the AgustaWestland deal. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the showcause notice is just the first step, but indicated the government may not go all the way.

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