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AgustaWestland case: CBI to begin quizzing again

| PRAMOD KUMAR
Published : Jul 26, 2016, 6:18 am IST
Updated : Jul 26, 2016, 6:18 am IST

The CBI is all set to start another round of questioning in the multi-crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal case.

The CBI is all set to start another round of questioning in the multi-crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal case. Sources said decision to start another round of questioning has been taken after getting replies of the agency’s judicial requests from Tunisia, Italy and British Virgin Island.

Sources said, “The agency has received responses to its judicial requests or Letters Rogatory (LRs) from Italy, Tunisia and British Virgin Islands.” The agency sleuths are analysing details sent by the authorities concerned in Tunisia, Italy and British Virgin Island, sources said adding that details that have been provided are crucial to the agency’s probe. The agency may start another round of questioning in the case, they added.

Investigations by the CBI has established certain suspects in the case allegedly received Euro 1,26,000 and Euro 2,00,000 in 2005 routed through Tunisia and Mauritius, sources said. The CBI on March 13, 2013 had booked former IAF Chief S.P. Tyagi and 12 others under charges of bribery, cheating and corruption in the VVIP chopper deal. The former Air Chief, his cousins — Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke were among 13 individuals named in the FIR as accused. Six companies — Finmeccanica, Agusta-Westland, IDS Infotech, Aeromatrix, IDS Tunisia and IDS Mauritius had also been booked by the CBI in its FIR.

“The agency may call all suspects, including cousins of former IAF Chief, for another round of questioning,” sources said. The CBI sent judicial requests to nine countries to get details about certain overseas companies as part of its investigations into the case. The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he had reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from altitude ceiling requirement from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000 ft) so that AgustaWestland could be included in the bids. However, this decision was taken in consultation with the officials of the SPG and the Prime Minister’s office.

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