Millennium Post

Italian Finmeccanica’s ex-boss Orsi jailed for graft in VVIP chopper deal

In the ruling, which overturned a previous court order of 2014 that had given Orsi reprieve in connection with the corruption angle, former CEO of Finmeccanica’s helicopter subsidiary AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini, was also handed a four-year prison term by the court on Thursday.

The court found both guilty of corruption in relation to the sale of 12 helicopters to the Indian government and sentenced Orsi to a jail term of four and a half years, Italian news agency ANSA reported. Prosecutors had requested jail terms of six years and five years for Orsi and Spagnolini, respectively, it said.

The ruling has come as a severe blow to the Italian company which had just managed to leave the corruption saga behind that marred its image across the world. Though Finmeccanica has refused to say anything on the ruling saying it pertained to former executives, top company officials said that the firm “has changed completely”.

“The company has undergone deep changes and it has changed completely from the time when the allegations came up first. Finmeccanica is a different company now,” an official said. “Finmeccanica since then has changed its top management and its organisation.” 

The official added that Italian judicial system is made of three appeals and the trial is against two former executives. The lawyers of both the accused have said that they will go in for an appeal.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are still probing the case in India in which former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi and his cousins are alleged to be the beneficiaries.
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