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AgustaWestland case: 'No conclusive evidence' of corruption, says Italian court; detailed judgment comes 8 months after verdict

An Italian court released a 322-page document in the AgustaWestland case on 17 September, eight months after it acquitted former CEO of Finmeccanica — Giuseppe Orsi and former CEO of AgustaWestland — Bruno Spagnolini for lack of "conclusive" proof of corruption with an Indian official.

Reuters (Milan) quoted the document as noting that there was no conclusive evidence of the "corrective agreement stipulated according to the imputation" with a foreign public official. The document was released months after the 8 January judgment, even though it was supposed to be issued within 90 days after the verdict.

 AgustaWestland case: No conclusive evidence of corruption, says Italian court; detailed judgment comes 8 months after verdict

File photo of Giuseppe Orsi during the opening ceremony of the new Terminal of Vertiporto dell'Urbe in Rome in 2009. Reuters

One of the allegations levelled against an Indian official in the case is that against of corruption against former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief SP Tyagi after he allegedly changed the operational ceiling limit for flying the aircraft. However, The Indian Express reported that the court, in its judgment, said that the allegation did not have chronological evidence according to the documents submitted to the court.

The Italian court's conclusions will not weigh on the investigation into the case being conducted in India by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), according to a report by The Hindu.

Orsi had been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for false accounting and corruption. The case against Orsi and Spagnolini resulted from an investigation launched in 2012 into the sale of 12 luxury helicopters to India.

The two were accused of international corruption and false invoicing in relation to bribes exchanged for the contract with India. Both were cleared on charges of committing international corruption at the first-instance trial in 2014 but convicted of false invoicing and sentenced to two years in prison.

In Italy, criminal sentences are not usually considered definitive until the appeals process has been exhausted. Both appealed against the conviction, while the prosecution appealed against the acquittal on the corruption charge.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2018 09:31:01 IST