Millennium Post
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CBI may now send ‘source query’ to USA

Desperately seeking information on the copter scam, the CBI is likely to send a ‘source query’ to USA to find out details from the controversial US attorney C Edmond Allen, a former partner of Navy War Room Leak case accused Abhishek Verma. Sources in CBI said apart from a joint CBI-MoD team being sent to Italy to find out details, this is another bid to find out information on the scam.

C Edmonds Allen, the US attorney had earlier raised suspicions regarding the operations of the Italian firm. He had shot off letters to Indian agencies last year sharing a document on a purported ‘consulting’ agreement between AgustaWestland and US-based Ganton Ltd dated 7 August, 2009. ‘We hope that he is has some information about the deal and he will share it with us,’ the source added.

Meanwhile, the CBI has engaged a lawyer in Italy to represent India’s case with the Italian government and the local courts to find out the role of Indians in the alleged kickbacks. Language is a problems that the CBI team and MoD officials would be facing.

The CBI has engaged a lawyer in Italy to represent India’s case with the Italian government and the local courts to find out the role of Indians in the alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

Official sources said on Sunday that the assistance of a lawyer was taken to help understand Italian law and expedite the process of getting documents from the helicopter company.

The lawyer, if necessary, would approach the court in Italy for procurement of documents, they said. A CBI team and defence ministry officials is leaving for Italy today to verify allegations of kickbacks in the supply of 12 Agusta Westland helicopters.

The team comprises a CBI DIG, a law officer of the agency, a joint secretary-level officer of defence ministry and an official of the external affairs ministry. The team’s departure was delayed by a day due to some last-minute formalities which required to be fulfilled before travelling abroad for the purpose of investigation, they said, adding the team would try to meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain the details of the case.
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