SP Tyagi Took Money, UPA Didn't Cooperate With Probe: Agusta Judge
AugustaWestland employee walks inside a hangar (Reuters)
New Delhi: Italian judge Marco Maria Maiga, who passed the landmark judgment in the AgustaWestland Chopper scam, has accused the former UPA government of not cooperating with the probe.
"I can say what is written in the judgement, that Italian authorities and Italian prosecutors asked Indian authorities to send all documents about this deal starting from 2002 - the first deal. But we received only three documents that were suitable for Italian authorities," judge Maiga told CNN-News18 in a telephonic interview.
It goes against claims by the Congress, especially by former Defence Minister AK Antony, that UPA former government acted promptly and aggressively to try and nail those who took bribes in the VVIP chopper deal.
Judge Maiga also said there was evidence that former Air Chief SP Tyagi and his cousins received kickbacks to change specifications of the chopper deal.
"In the judgment, we said that the family Tyagi and Shashi Tyagi received money from the two Italian accused Mr Haschke and Mr Spangolini to help Agusta Westland in the deal. But it is important to clarify that our judgement at the moment is not a final judgement because we have to wait for a decision of the 3rd degree ( superior court)," he said.
Tyagi and his relatives have already denied this allegation.
Haschke's Note Authentic
Tyagi is already being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the various meetings he had with top officials of Agusta’s parent company Finmeccanica.
The CBI is yet to establish any money trail in the case but judge Maiga asserted that prima facie there is ‘enough material’ to launch an investigation.
Maiga also confirmed that middleman Guido Haschke's hand-written document which mentions names of IAF officers, bureaucrats and politicians is authentic. Haschke's note mentions a name 'AP' which ruling members claim is code for Sonia Gandhi's political adviser Ahmed Patel.
AgustaWestland's Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was scrapped by the UPA government over charges of kickbacks to Indian agents. The contract was cancelled in 2013, and CBI started investigating the matter.