New Delhi: The alleged middlemen in the deal for VVIP helicopters have claimed that the then Air Chief SP Tyagi used to brief them on the developments in the tender, according to Italian investigators.Haschke and Gerosa have reportedly claimed that Tyagi would keep them updated on the tender for the 12 helicopters during their meetings, which are believed to have taken place six to seven times.
They have also claimed that they had managed to modify conditions of the tender, including reducing the flight ceiling from 18,000 to 15,000 feet, which made Augusta's AW-101 eligible for the bid, according to a report filed by investigators in an Italian court.
"(Guido Ralph) Hashcke and (Carlo) Gerosa, through the Tyagi brothers, in turn through their cousin ACM S P Tyagi, managed first to change the tender details, in a way to favour, modifying the 'operational ceiling' from 18,000 to 15,000 feet of altitude, thus allowing AgustaWestland spa (which otherwise could not have even submitted an offer) to take part in the tender," the report said.
"They managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine, thus facilitating AgustaWestland helicopters, the only ones which had three engines. In this way they managed to get the contract to AgustaWestland," it alleged.
Tyagi has denied any wrongdoing although he has admitted having met one of the alleged middlemen at the residence of his cousin.
According to the investigators, 21 million euros (about Rs 150 crore) were paid as kickbacks under the cover of engineering contracts reportedly through companies IDS Tunisia and IDS India.