NO EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION

Eight months and 10 days after its decision acquitting AgustaWestland officials of corruption charges in the VVIP helicopter deal with India, an Italian appeals court in Milan last week gave its judgment detailing the reasons for finding no evidence of graft.

 The court also said that the allegation that the operational ceiling limit for flying the helicopter was changed on illegal payment to the then IAF chief was not chronologically possible as per the evidence submitted. Former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi (retd) has been alleged to be one of the beneficiaries of corruption in the case. As per Reuters, the publication of the detailed judgment is likely to lead to final closure of the case in Italy. There is little chance of any further appeal being passed in this case as it has already gone through a first-degree trial, two appellate trials and a Supreme Court ruling in Italy, the news agency said.

 The detailed judgment of the Italian court comes days after news that alleged middleman Christian Michel’s extradition to India had been cleared by a Dubai court. Michel, a British citizen, is one of three alleged middlemen accused of bribing Indian officials to secure the Rs 3,600-crore deal.

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