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CBI again grills SP Tyagi over foreign payments in 2009

After Milan Court of Appeals’ order conclusion that bribes were allegedly paid to clinch deal, CBI asks him

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 10 2016 2:07PM | Updated Date: May 10 2016 2:07PM

CBI again grills SP Tyagi over foreign payments in 2009
After getting no breakthrough in the money trail that will establish kickbacks, former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi was again grilled in the AgustaWestland case by the CBI on the alleged foreign payments in 2009.
 
This was two years after he retired and also coincides with his visits to Italy. Even though the CBI had this information, the agency has not established a quid pro quo.
 
CBI officials say they are looking at these issues with a new perspective after the Milan Court of Appeals order which concluded that bribes were allegedly paid to clinch the deal.
 
Sources said he was asked about the source of these funds as the agency confronted him with account statements and sought an explanation but CBI refused to reveal the amount.
 
The CBI has also in the past questioned him about his meetings with officials of Finmeccanica, parent firm of AgustaWestland.
 
The Italian court verdict names Tyagi in mentioning the meetings and interactions with alleged European middlemen and officials of Finmeccanica. Tyagi has denied allegations of any corruption in the helicopter deal.
 
The agency also questioned Praveen Bakshi on Monday, CEO of Aeromatrix Infosolutions Pvt Limited and Pratap Aggarwal, managing director of IDS Infotech, who are under scanner for allegedly helping with the routing of the bribe amount from AgustaWestland to various suspected Indian beneficiaries.
 
They claimed they were questioned about services provided by their companies to AgustaWestland.
CBI had registered a case against S P Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins, Bakshi,
Aggarwal and European middlemen--Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Chritian Michel.
 
The allegation against S P Tyagi is that he reduced the flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids. Tyagi has denied allegations against him and said the  change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved.