VVIP chopper deal: CBI to get phone transcripts from Italy

New Delhi: CBI is likely to get transcripts of phone conversations of Italian middlemen allegedly involved in the VVIP helicopter deal, intercepted by law enforcement authorities following court orders in the European country.

CBI sources said the documents would be received by the Defence Ministry and later, handed over to the investigating agency to help it in its probe in the multi-crore deal.

They said the records are related to phone conversations which were tapped by Italian authorities who have quoted them in their preliminary enquiry report.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland had come under scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribe money was given by the company to clinch the deal.

The Italian prosecutor, who carried out the preliminary enquiry, alleged that the CEO of Finmeccanica, parent company of UK-based AgustaWestland, had used services of middlemen to bribe Indian officials in India.

CBI which carried out probe in India had named 13 individuals, including former IAF chief S P Tyagi and European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke, in the FIR as accused, in connection with the alleged bribe payment.

The probe agency has alleged that during his tenure as the IAF Chief, Tyagi and "with his approval" the Air force "conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 m to 4,500 m as mandatory to which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons."

According to the FIR, "Haschke Guido and Gerosa Carlo (middlemen) managed to send Euro 5.6 million through Mohali- based IDS Infotech and Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Ltd to India and kept the remaining amount out of about Euro 24.30 million received from AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia."