How the AgustaWestland helicopter deal was finalised
Posted on: 04:24 PM IST Feb 13, 2013
New Delhi: The investigations by Italian police have revealed that Finmeccanica bagged the deal to supply 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to the Indian government through Guido Ralph Haschke. According to the 64-page chargesheet, Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi appointed Haschke to make sure that requirements were tweaked in favour of his company.
Haschke came in contact with former Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi's relatives - Juli, Dosca and Sandeep - with the help of his business partner Carlo Gerosa. According to the reports the bribe has given to the former Air Marshal SP Tyagi through his cousins' for the AgustaWestland helicopter deal. However, the amount of the bribe is not yet known. Tyagi was the IAF chief between 2004 and 2007 and the bribe was offered to him during this period.
Haschke came to know through the Tyagi brothers - Juli, Dosca and Sandeep - that the Indian government was planning to buy choppers. He assured Orsi and other company officials that he could swing the deal in their favour. Haschke reportedly offered bribe to the then Air Chief Marshal Tyagi through his cousins and got him to change the terms of the tenders.
According to the report the requirement that the bidding helicopters should be able to fly at a height of 18,000 feet was reduced to 15,000 feet so that AgustaWestland helicopter could become eligible. Bribe was also allegedly paid to add a clause of test flights which enabled AgustaWestland to take part in the tender with a third engine.
The deal with AgustaWestland was finally signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of 12 helicopters. It has been alleged that Rs 370 crore was paid as bribe in the deal which is worth Rs 3546 crore out of which almost Rs 200 crore was paid as bribe in Italy and India through a defence middleman Christian Michael, who was in London.