21 February 2013

Law firms contacted over chopper deal

Two Italian law firms have been contacted by India's Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) in connection with bribery claims in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.

By James Barnes

Chopper deal under investigation

Indian web site Niti Central reports that the two firms - Chiomenti and Grippo – could facilitate coordination with the Italian authorities to obtain documents and other material connected with the £480 million deal for supplying 12 helicopters to India.


The firms will also present the CBI case to the Italian Government and the local courts in order to launch a probe to get evidence regarding alleged kickbacks in the deal.
Italian authorities have arrested Giuseppe Orsi, the chairman of Italian Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland. Both companies deny any wrongdoing. According to the report, the joint team of the CBI and Defence Ministry in Italy was told that the investigation was in its initial stage and that arrests made so far were more of a preventive nature so that the evidence was not tampered with.

'Management activity'

According to the BBC web site, Finmeccanica 'expressed solidarity with Mr Orsi' and said that 'management activity and initiatives it has undertaken are continuing in an orderly fashion'.
Meanwhile, a statement in the Guardian newspaper from AgustaWestland said that the company was confident 'that the full compliance with the relevant laws as well as the good conduct of its past and present senior executives and managers will be demonstrated as soon as practicable.'

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