Millennium Post

Finmeccanica chopper scam: CBI gets some ‘vital’ documents from Italy

Moving forward in its probe into alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, the CBI has procured some ‘vital’ documents from Italian authorities in Milan that may help it investigating whether any Indian had received bribes to swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

Highly-placed sources in the probe agency said on Sunday that one of the members of the CBI team who returned this morning from Milan had got some of the documents from the Italian prosecutor regarding the controversial Rs 3,600 crore deal which would be examined in the next couple of days.

The sources said a preliminary enquiry(PE) would be initiated in the next couple of days after examining the documents received from the Italian authorities. It has been alleged that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were allegedly paid to help secure the deal in favour of the Anglo-Italian firm.

While declining to reveal the nature of documents, the sources said prima-facie it seemed sufficient to initiate a PE against unknown persons since Italian authorities could share only these papers at this stage. The authorities have, however, promised to hand over other documents once their probe is completed.

One of the two CBI officers was still in Milan to take some more documents and would be arriving here on Monday, the sources said.

The CBI team is also pinning its hope on the assurance made by the Italian government-controlled Finmeccanica group, parent company of AgustaWestland helicopters, that it would provide assistance in probing bribery allegations against some Indian nationals.

During the meeting, CBI officials had requested the Italian firm to hand over the report of its internal probe to them so that it could be examined in India and a proper investigation could be conducted.

The CBI team along with officials from defence and external affairs ministry had also met senior officials of the Italian judiciary including the judge in the case to request for assistance in probing the role of Indians in connection with alleged kickbacks in the deal.
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