Milan, Italy: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team looking into the VVIP chopper scam in India have reached Italy. They will be meeting the Italian prosecutors who have created a stir by naming former Air Force chief SP Tyagi as a part of the bribery scandal in the Rs. 4,000-crore deal for 12 AgustaWestland (AW) choppers.
The Italian prosecutors have told NDTV that there is enough evidence against the former air chief. They also said that SP Tyagi's defence that he wasn't in-charge when the scandal took place doesn't stand.
"We cannot get into specifics but all I can tell you is that we have all the evidence to nail Shashi Tyagi,'' said the sources, adding, "This includes wire taps.'' They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.
Italian prosecutors have said in their report that SP Tyagi, who headed the Indian Air Force from 2004-2007, ensured that the tender for the helicopters was tailored so carefully to match AW's abilities, that the American and Russian competitors were eliminated. The retired Air Chief Marshal has denied the charges, which include being paid kickbacks via his cousins Julie (Sanjiv), Dosca (Rajiv) and Sandeep who were allegedly given 100,000 euros or 70 lakhs in cash.
Last week, a court in Italy had refused to share with India documents of the report.
The Italian inquiry exploded into a political scandal in Delhi with the arrest last week of the man who used to head AW's parent company, Finmeccanica. Prosecutors presented a detailed report of a preliminary inquiry, which outlines a web of middlemen and companies used to route nearly 350 crores as kickbacks to India.