"I Am Not Under Any Pressure": Agustawestland Case Accused Rajeev Saxena

Delhi court has directed Agustawestland case accused Rajeev Saxena to record his statement before a magistrate court.

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'I Am Not Under Any Pressure': Agustawestland Case Accused Rajeev Saxena
New Delhi: 

A day after moving an application to become an approver in the AgustaWestland case, accused Rajeev Saxena on Thursday told a Delhi court that he is not under any pressure and no assurances were given to him, neither any sought from him.

In a statement before a Patiala House court, Mr Saxena said he has "thought long and hard" and that his "exposure" to the case was "very minimal".

"(I have) no intention to not cooperate. Logical consequence is to give testimony in the case. (I am under) no pressure. It is on my free will completely and the complete understanding of the case. No assurances were given and none sought," Mr Saxena said on his plea seeking to turn an approver.

The court has directed Rajeev Saxena to record his statement before a magistrate court.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said that it will respond after his disclosure statement is recorded in the case.

Special Court Judge Arvind Kumar marked the case file to the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for the recording of Mr Saxena's statement under section 306 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Yesterday the judge had issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on the plea and listed the matter for today.

The court granted him bail on February 25 against a personal bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of like amount.

The Dubai-based businessman was extradited to India in the wee hours of January 31 in connection with alleged scam in the Rs 3,600 crore deal for the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland company.

He was allegedly operating a number of bank accounts in Switzerland in which huge amounts of money were deposited, according to a government dossier.

Rajiv Saxena was earlier granted bail by the court on medical grounds after perusing reports submitted by AIIMS.

The court had said that it was clear from the medical record submitted by AIIMS that Mr Saxena was suffering from a number of serious ailments including blood cancer and needs constant medical checkups.

Mr Saxena, who is in custody since January 31 after his deportation from Dubai, said in his bail plea that when all the other accused in the case, including Gautam Khaitan, Ritu Khaitan and SP Tyagi were out on bail, there could be "no justification" to deny him the same relief.

Rajiv Saxena, a director of two Dubai-based firms - UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings - is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by ED in the AgustaWestland case.

Christian Michel, former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and Mr Saxena's wife Shivani have also been named by the agency in the chargesheet.

The ED had alleged that in connivance with Gautam Khaitan, Mr Saxena provided a global corporate structure for laundering illegal proceeds of the crime for payment to various political persons, bureaucrats and Air Force officials to influence the contract to supply 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.

Mr Saxena was residing in Palm Jumeriah, Dubai and has been living in the UAE for last 26 years.

Maintaining that AgustaWestland had paid Euro 58 million as kickbacks through two Tunisia-based firms, the ED has alleged that "these companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others".

It was alleged by the probe agency that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/ shares, among others" in this case.

On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.

(With Inputs From ANI, PTI)

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