Italian court cleared the ex-CEOs of Finmeccanica of corruption charges in VVIP chopper scam
An Italian court acquitted Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini of corruption charges in the 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal with India.
An Italian court in Busto Arsizio on 9 October 2014 acquitted Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini of corruption charges in the 3600 crore rupees VVIP chopper deal with India.
But the court convicted Orsi and Spagnolini for a two-year jail terms on lesser charges of falsification of invoices. The court found that they falsified information to funnel money to a middleman Guido Haschke, who had been accused by the prosecution of bribing officials in India.
Besides, it also asked them to pay 1.5 million Euros in compensation to the Italian tax authorities and sentenced 22-month prison term to the alleged middleman Guido Haschke.
Orsi is a former CEO of Finmeccanica and Spagnolini is the former head of Agusta Westland, the British subsidiary of Finmeccanica.
The deal for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was signed in 2010 between Indian government and the company. But with the surfacing of the scam, the Government of India cancelled the deal with Augusta Westland on 1 January 2014 and put on hold further engagement with Finmeccanica on 5 August 2014.
As of now, India has already recovered 228 out of the 252 million Euros it had paid for the contract by invoking the integrity pact and encashing of bank guarantees and arbitration proceedings between the firm and the Indian government on the VVIP Chopper deal have also been initiated.
Apart from this, CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are probing the case in India, where former IAF chief, SP Tyagi and his cousins are alleged to be the beneficiaries.