VVIP chopper scam: CBI questioning IAF ex-officer JS Gujral

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The CBI was questioning former Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Air Marshal JS Gujral (retd) on Saturday in connection with the VVIP AgustaWestland helicopter deal, sources said.

Gujral was earlier examined as a witness in the case. Gujral had retired as deputy chief of air staff, where he was in charge of procurements.

The Central Bureau of Investigation managed to get the complete tranche of records, received from Italy, translated into English.

Sources said the records were being analysed by sleuths who would decide on the charges to be pressed against the accused named in the FIR, including former IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi (retd), and his three cousins.

Sources said that Tyagi has also been asked by CBI to appear at its headquarters in Delhi for questioning on Monday.

The CBI had named 13 individuals in the FIR, including Tyagi and European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke, in connection with the alleged bribery.

Italian agencies had arrested the then CEO of AgustaWestland, Giuseppe Orsi, for alleged bribes given to Indian middlemen to clinch the deal.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland had come under scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribes were paid by the company to clinch the Rs. 3,600 crore deal.

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

The probe agency has alleged that during his tenure as IAF chief, Tyagi and, “with his approval”, Air Force “conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters.

 

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