New Delhi, Feb 13: Italian sleuths on Tuesday alleged that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed former chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) S P Tyagi to swing the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal in its favour. The charges were made in a preliminary inquiry report of the alleged corruption in the deal worth Rs 3,546 crore filed by the Italian prosecutors.
The report, filed in the tribunal of Busto Arsizio city for the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi, provided details of the case being probed by Italian prosecutors and alleged that Tyagi played a key role in swing the deal. It was also said that he was paid certain amount of money through intermediaries, a charge which Tyagi refuted later.
In October 2012, a report was published in an Indian newspaper that Julie Tyagi, an Indian businessman who was named by Italian prosecutors in the alleged kickbacks investigation, was closely related to the former IAF chief. SP Tyagi later admitted that he was related to Julie but they did not have any business link.
The report said technical requirements for the contract were manipulated to allow AgustaWestland choppers enter the bidding provess and that kickbacks worth Rs 370 crore were paid for the deal. It said three Tyagi brothers, Julie, Docsa and sandeep worked as the Indian intermediaries who allegedly received kickbacks and passed it on to the Indian officials. It was also claimed that besides Orsi, middlemen Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Christian Michel facilitated the payments.
This is the first time that a service chief has been named in an investigation into alleged corruption while procuring defence equipment.