Chopper deal: Orsi resigns, India seeks info from UK

Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 8:00 [IST]
 
Chopper deal: Orsi resigns

Rome, Feb 15: The chief executive of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, caught up in an international bribes scandal, formally resigned on Friday , according to Ansa news agency. Orsi, who was arrested on Tuesday in a bribery scandal over the sale of 12 helicopters to India, also stepped down as chairman, Ansa quoted his lawyer as saying.

Meanwhile, India on Friday said it had recently sought information from UK about the tainted VVIP chopper deal through a note verbale as well as a meeting with the UK Foreign Office and was not satisfied with the interim response it received.

"In the recent past, we have formally checked with the UK side and as of now they have given us an interim response. So we are still waiting to further check with them if they have any information," J Bhagwati, Indian High Commissioner to UK, said here. He was replying to a query on whether India was asking from UK for information and assistance in probing the allegations of corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore Augusta Westland helicopter deal. Westland used to be a UK firm and was taken over by Italina defence giant Finmeccanica.

Bhagwati said the interim response was that the UK wants to "wait for the investigations in Italy to complete for them to know more details before they can respond to anything that we can ask them". Asked if India was satisfied with the response, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "

Nobody is ever satisfied with an interim response. Everybody would want a full-fledged response. So, I mean it is pretty obvious that we would like a full-fledged response". Bhagwati said India would like to get a "fuller response" from all the authorities outside "even as domestically, I am sure the government is concerned and is taking necessary action".

Akbaruddin chipped in and said: "Apart from writing, we have also had meetings on this with the concerned officials in the UK Foreign Office". Asked what was the mode of communication used to interact with UK, the spokesperson said, "We have used diplomatic modes of communication which is note verbale and also follow up meeting with the Foreign Office (UK)".

AFP/PTI


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