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Feb 18, 2013 at 08:36pm IST

AgustaWestland deal: Tapped phone calls of middlemen reveal India connect

New Delhi: As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) gets ready to investigate the tainted AgustaWestland chopper deal, CNN-IBN has accessed details of phone conversations between the alleged middlemen, Guido Ralph Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, hinting at the Indian connection. These tapped phone conversations also reveal how Haschke destroyed all evidence of wrongdoing.

The alleged phone calls between Haschke and Gerosa were recorded by the Italian police and they detail the extent of the alleged conspiracy.

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During the conversation, Haschke said, "I cleaned out every single paper from my office, completely cleaned out my computer. Actually I removed the old computer I had. I have a new computer where there is nothing. So even if they look for wiped out data, they won't find anything. And I am deleting all mail that passed through me from Carlo's server in office." He further confesses to Gerosa that if he hadn't wiped out incriminating data, he would have been caught.

"The important thing is that my name doesn't leak out," he said. Gerosa responded, saying, "Same here. You know you are the first link."

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"I understand," says Haschke, to which Gerosa says, "If they skip the first link, then I'm in the middle of it."

In the repeated calls between Haschke and Gerosa, the murky Indian link too is established.

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Below is the transcript of the related excerpt:

Carlo Gerosa: "I receive orders from (unclear) there in India, but this we can't say openly to Gautam."

Guido Ralph Haschke: "No, but he knows it well. His presence is not negotiable. The orders of recycling are passed from us to him, but the recycling is done by him. We are really a group dedicated to criminal ends."

Carlo Gerosa: "You won't block the discourse on the other issue?"

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

It is not clear who are these people in India that Gerosa receives orders from or what is it that cannot be discussed openly. The two Indians mentioned in the conversation are Praveen Bakshi, CEO of Aeromatrix and Gautam Khaitan, former Director of Aeromatrix, who has called all allegations baseless.

The calls also seem to bear out the Italian probe allegation that money was transferred from Italy to India through a company called IDS Tunisia, linked to Aeromatrix.

Here is Haschke talking to an AgustaWestland employee, Garavaglia Attilio:

Guido Ralph Haschke: "Garavaglia, hello!"

Garavaglia Attilio: "Yes?"

Guido Ralph Haschke: "I am sending money to Praveen because naturally he needs it for the end of the year. He tells me he has spoken to you."

Garavaglia in turn speaks to a Tunisian contact Kammoun Hedi, one of the names being probed by the Italian police.

Kammoun Hedi: "Good morning, it's arrived! (referring to payment from AgustaWestland to IDS Tunisia)"

Garavaglia Attilio: "It's arrived? Good!"

Kammoun Hedi: "Yes, I'll send it all to Praveen immediately!"

When contacted, Praveen Bakshi refuted all allegations. "If there is so much of talk about a conspiracy then why hasn't any investigating agency contacted me?" he asked.

The details in these phone calls recorded by the Italian police suggest a deep and complex conspiracy. All hopes now are on the CBI to unravel the truth, and reveal the big names that remain in the closet.

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