Indian officials to question middleman in VVIP helicopter scam on Dec 13

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 07 Desember 2013 | 07.20

NEW DELHI: Indian officials will question Guido Ralph Haschke, one of the three middlemen who allegedly helped swing the VVIP helicopter deal for AgustaWestland, in an Italian court next week.

Haschke, whose statement is being recorded by the Italian court after he was extradited from Switzerland, has apparently claimed 6 million euros were paid to Indian Air Force officials and 8.4 million euros to bureaucrats, with the politicians also getting a cut.

As per reports from Italy, Haschke said there was also a plan to give 7% commission in the case to the three cousins of former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi, Dosca, Julie and Sandeep. He also claimed to have met Tyagi six to seven times.

Haschke, his partner Carlos Gerosa and London-based consultant Christian Michel were allegedly paid kickbacks totalling 51 million euros (around Rs 400 crore) in the Rs 3,546 crore deal for 12 VVIP helicopters inked with AgustaWestland, the UK-based subsidiary of Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, in February 2010.

The Italian court on Thursday asked the Indian defence ministry officials present during the legal proceedings whether they wanted to question the accused. Our officials were given an opportunity to question Haschke through their lawyer on Thursday itself. But they told the court that they would reserve the right, till the next hearing on December 13, since they wanted to ask the questions in a proper, consolidated manner,'' said a source.

Italian prosecutors have alleged Haschke, who boasted of his big connections'' in India, and Gerosa acted as the intermediaries for the bribes paid to Indian officials.

The CBI FIR here, in turn, says, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa managed to send 5.6 million Euros through Mohali-based IDS Infotech and Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Ltd to India and kept the remaining amount of about 24.30 million Euros received from AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia''.

As reported earlier, even as the CBI probes the criminal case, the MoD is also getting all set to scrap the contract with AgustaWestland after earlier freezing all further payments to the company despite having inducted only three of the 12 AW-101 helicopters, with around 45% of the total contract value already been paid.

The final cancellation process was initiated after MoD received the opinion of the law ministry and the attorney general that there was a clear violation of the integrity pact and the contractual obligations'' by AgustaWestland. The provisions provide for strict action including the cancellation of contract, recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action''.

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