CBI to send its own team to Italy for chopper scam probe

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Chopper scam: CBI to send team to Italy
New Delhi, Dec 16: CBI will send a team to Italy only after perusing a report to be submitted by the Defence Ministry team, which is on a visit there, in connection with the ongoing trial in the Rs 3,600-crore chopper scam and questioning of alleged middleman Guido Haschke.

Sources in the agency said they were not in a hurry to send a team without getting to know how much Haschke had shared with the Defence Ministry officials who had been authorised by a court in Milan to quiz the accused.

The visiting team would be submitting a report to the Ministry which will be eventually shared with CBI which has registered a case naming several companies and people, including former Air Chief S P Tyagi. Tyagi has denied all wrong doings as alleged by CBI.

There have been references to initials of politicians and designations of bureaucrats in the draft budget allegedly prepared by the middlemen that earmarked 30 million Euros to swing the deal allegedly in favour of AgustaWestland.

The draft budget,presented by Italian prosecutors in one of the hearings earlier this month, showed entries earmarked for "AP" and "FAM" under the head of money for politicians and "DS", "JS AIR", "AFA", "DG Acquisition" under the bureaucrat head.

However, CBI sources said these entries did not have any meaning until or unless the alleged middleman gave a clarification, that too in front of judicial officer, about the meaning of the abbreviations and whether any payment had been made.

CBI has also sent Letters Rogatory to three countries-- Italy, Tunisia and Mauritius--to obtain more details about the case including the routes allegedly used by companies to pump in money into India.

PTI

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