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Chopperdeal: Will verify process to summon foreigners, says ED

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday told a Delhi court that they would verify the process of serving summons to two Italian nationals, who were summoned as accused along with others in a money-laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.

The agency told the court that they would inform it about the process of serving summons to the foreign nationals, Gerosa Carlo Valentino Ferdinand and Haschke Guido Ralph.

"Complainant (ED's officer) said that he shall verify the present process for serving A-3 (Gerosa) and A-4 (Haschke) as they are foreign nationals," Special CBI Judge V K Gupta said.

During the hearing, businessman Gautam Khaitan and his wife Ritu Khaitan, who were also chargesheeted by the ED in connection with the case along with the two foreigners and Chandigarh-based firm Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt Ltd, appeared before the court.

Gautam Khaitan, who was the only accused arrested in the case, was earlier granted bail by the court.

During the proceedings today, Ritu Khaitan moved a bail plea and the court fixed it for arguments on February 2.

"Put up for February 2 for reply and arguments on the bail plea of A-2 (Ritu), furnishing of procedure of process to A-3 and A-4...," the judge said.

The court had summoned these five accused after taking cognisance of the ED's charge sheet, which charged them for offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Gautam Khaitan was the first person to be arrested in September last year by ED in the chopper deal case in which CBI is also running a parallel probe.

ED is probing the case in which 70 million euros (Rs 360 crore) were allegedly paid as kickbacks.

It had earlier submitted that Khaitan was on the board of Aeromatrix which was allegedly a front company for the financial dealings in the case.

ED had lodged a case in July last year against Khaitan, former IAF chief S P Tyagi and 19 others in the VVIP chopper deal case to probe the alleged kickbacks.

The agency had claimed that Khaitan had resigned as one of the directors in Aeromatrix after Italian Police started a probe in the chopper deal.

Khaitan was earlier questioned by CBI in this case. ED had lodged a case in this deal under PMLA, taking cognisance of a more than a year-old CBI FIR.

ED has booked Tyagi, some of his family members, European nationals Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke, six firms -- Italy-based Finmeccanica, UK-based AgustaWestland, Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, two companies based in Mauritius and Tunisia, and unnamed persons in its criminal complaint.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland came under the scanner after the Italian authorities had alleged that bribes were paid by the company to clinch the deal.
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