Gave no clean chit to any politician: Italian judge on AgustaWestland case

On a day when the AgustaWestland controversy dominated Parliament proceedings, the Italian judge who gave the verdict on the bribery scam said that he has not given a clean chit to any politician in the case, as reported by Times Now.

While saying that he has not exonerated any politician, the judge, Marco Maiga said that the judgment is not a final one.

The judge's comments assume significance as Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in a spirited defense of the party, had said that Italian courts have said that there is no evidence against Sonia Gandhi, as per an India Today report.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The judgment has said that there are indications regarding 'corruption of an Indian officer' referring to former Air Force chief SP Tyagi. It also refers to a letter from middleman Christian Michel to the India region sales and liason head of AgustaWestland referring to 'Mrs Gandhi' as the 'driving force behind the VIP,' according to a report in The Indian Express.

Further, the judge also said in the interview that on the basis of the evidence available, the Tyagi family were not the only ones who received money, as reported by Times Now.

The court has also noted that there is "reasonable belief" that the helicopter deal was not fair or above board.

Two former chiefs of the Indian Air Force, SP Tyagi and NAK Browne are under the scanner in relation to the case.

AgustaWestland's Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was scrapped by the then UPA government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents.

In January 2013, India cancelled the deal and the CBI was assigned to investigate the matter.

With the issue echoing in Parliament, the Italian's judgment may lead to political fireworks and a war of words between the BJP and the Congress.

Updated Date: May 04, 2016 16:54 PM

Also See