Defence ministry orders CBI probe into Augusta Westland deal for 12 VVIP helicopters

Probe ordered after CEO of Italian defence firm Finmeccanica reportedly arrested on charges of bribery

New Delhi/February 12

Defence ministry today ordered a CBI probe into Augusta Westland deal for 12 VVIP helicopters after CEO of Italian defence firm Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi was reportedly arrested by Italian authorities on charges of bribery.
A defenece spokesperson said that a CBI probe has been ordered after media reports regarding the arrest of Chairman of Finmeccanica in the case of the sale of helicopters to India. Further, the probe had been widened to include the Indian contract signed with Augusta Westland (UK).
”The Ministry of Defence had sought information from the Governments of Italy and UK through Ministry of External but no specific inputs were received substantiating the allegations,” said the defence spokesperson. The spokesperson further added that the contract signed with Augusta Westland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence as well as an Integrity Pact.
The helicopters deal was signed in February 2010 to acquire the 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for IAF’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs.
On February 12, the Defence Ministry had ordered a CBI probe into Augusta Westland deal for 12 VVIP helicopters after CEO of Italian defence firm Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi was arrested by Italian authorities on charges of bribery.

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