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Chopper scam: CBI files chargesheet against ex-IAF Chief Tyagi

NEW DELHI: Four years after the UPA-era VVIP chopper scam was unearthed, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a 30,000-page chargesheet against former Indian Air Force Chief – S P Tyagi, and nine others.

Then Air Vice Chief – J S Gujral, S P Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev alias Julie Tyagi, former CEOs of Anglo-Italian firm – Agustawestland – Guiseppe Orsi and Finmeccanica’s Bruno Spagnolini, three European middleman including main player – Christian Michel, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, Indian middleman Gautam Khaitan and the Italian company have been named in the chargesheet.

The agency, sources said, has revealed for the first time that S P Tyagi not only conspired with others to reduce the ceiling of 12 VVIP choppers, but manipulated with other operational requirements as well so that AgustaWestland gets the contract, in lieu of bribery.

Orsi and Spagnolini have already been sentenced by an Italian court for bribing Indian officials to get the contract from India illegally. Tyagi, CBI has alleged, took bribes through middlemen from AgustaWestland to change the specifications of the contract; reducing the operational flight ceiling from 6,000 metres, as originally proposed, to 4,500 metres, and bringing down the cabin height to 1.8 metres.

The twin modifications were allegedly meant to rig the deal in favour of AgustaWestland, which eventually walked away with the order to supply 12 choppers for the VIP squadron.

CBI said that the Rs 3726 crore-contract went to AgustaWestland as Tyagi conspired to reduce the ceiling of 12 VVIP choppers, for which several crores bribery was paid through a complex route of companies in several countries and in cash.

The agency had arrested S P Tyagi and Sanjeev Tyagi last December, but they got bail as the agency failed to file a chargesheet in time.

The CBI has claimed time and again that it has foolproof evidence against Tyagi and others.

Sources said that they mapped the trail of bribes which AgustaWestland paid to bag the deal – Rs 452 crore, or 12% of the total value of the deal, out of which Rs 414 crore came to Indian officials.

As first reported by TOI, Tyagi had made several trips to European countries after his retirement, and even met Finmeccanica officials there. It had also emerged last year that he had stakes in five companies, jointly owned by his cousins that were formed after his retirement and that went on to acquire properties.

The CBI probe revealed that several payments were made to the Tyagi brothers by European middlemen Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Christian Michel as part of the alleged bribery.

Two specific payments of Rs 2.49 crore and Rs 4.5 crore were made between 2004 and 2011, said sources.

Tyagi, as the IAF chief, had allegedly met Gerosa and Haschke at least six-seven times between 2004 and 2007.

Source : timesofindia



This post first appeared on Daily Kiran, please read the originial post: here

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Chopper scam: CBI files chargesheet against ex-IAF Chief Tyagi

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