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AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper Scam: CBI Files Chargesheet Against Ex-IAF Chief SP Tyagi, 9 Others
In its 30,000 page charge-sheet, the CBI names Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, then vice Air Chief JS Gujaral, SP Tyagi's cousin Julie Tyagi and lawyer-businessman Gautam Khaitan.
File photo of former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi. (GETTY IMAGES)
New Delhi: The CBI on Friday filed a charge-sheet in a Delhi court against former IAF Chief SP Tyagi and nine others in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.
In its 30,000-page charge-sheet, the CBI names Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, the then vice Air Chief JS Gujaral, SP Tyagi’s cousin Julie Tyagi and lawyer-businessman Gautam Khaitan.
AgustaWestland CEO Guiseppe Orsi, former head of AgustaWestland subsidiary – Finmeccanica – Bruno Spagnolini, three European middlemen – Christian Michel, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. AgustaWestland, the company as an entity, has also been named in the case.
Charges, in the Rs 3,767-crore case, have been filed for cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption. The charge-sheet says that 12% of the total cost was given as bribe and former Air Chief Tyagi played a key role in getting specifications changed to favour the chopper firm.
CBI says that in a meeting that took place on March 7, 2005, it was decided that the mandatory service ceiling would be brought down to 4,500 metres from 6,000 metres. The reduction allowed AgustaWestland to bid for the deal, which otherwise would not have been possible.
The charge-sheet mentions that this corresponds with the time that SP Tyagi was the Air Force chief. The CBI maintains that IAF conceded to reduce the service ceiling, which it had earlier opposed due to security reasons, after Tyagi’s intervention.
The CBI probe reveals that the Tyagi brothers Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep have been business associates of Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa (the middlemen in the case). It was in 2004 that they entered into a consultancy with Haschke and Gerosa's Gordian Services, registered in Tunisia. The deal, as per the CBI, was struck in 2004 when it was clear to the trio that SP Tyagi would be the next Air Force chief.
The CBI further says that despite Tyagi only officially taking over in January 2005, and being announced in November 2004, the line of succession was clear much before.
The probe further found that the Tyagi trio received €126,000, after March 2004 and €200,000, after February 2005. The CBI claims “though on papers it was a consultation amount, it corresponded with the reduction in service ceiling”.
It was also revealed how Gautam Khaitan, arrested earlier by the Enforcement Directorate, had set up shell companies to launder money.
The charge-sheet does not mention any political figure, but more supplementary charge-sheets are expected — as and when the agency receives replies for the Letters rogatory sent to over six countries.
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