VVIP chopper deal: Joint team of CBI, Defence Ministry to visit Italy today

New Delhi A joint team of CBI and Defence Ministry is likely to leave for Italy today to probe the alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

CBI sources said the team will meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain the details of the case.

The sources said two members of CBI comprising DIG-level officer and a law officer besides officers from the Defence Ministry will be part of team.

The decision by the CBI came as it virtually drew a blank from the Defence Ministry in getting some official inputs regarding to alleged kickbacks in the case, official sources said on Saturday.

The CBI was handed over a letter from the Defence Ministry seeking a probe by it in the case which has triggered a storm in the country. Attached with the letter were some Indian and Italian press clippings, which the CBI said, could not form the basis for registering a case.

CBI had sought help of Indian Mission in Rome which too has not been able to provide any authenticated court documents to the agency, sources said.

This was followed by CBI seeking help of Interpol which also expressed inability to provide any help in the absence of any regular case not having been registered by the agency, the sources said.

The Defence Ministry on Friday had sent a team led by Joint Secretary and an Air Commodore of Indian Air Force, who gave a presentation to the CBI about the tendering procedures and various stages while finalising the helicopter deal with AgustaWestland.

However, when pressed by the CBI officials about the kickback allegations, the team could not provide any answers to the sleuths, the sources said.
Story First Published: February 16, 2013 15:18 IST

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