New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony seems to have pressed on the gas in the matter of the ‘dubious’ Augusta Westland VVIP chopper deal as he has taken many steps in the direction prior to full CBI report about the scam, which would be totally dependent on Italian probe. A team of defence ministry officials briefed a CBI team about the deal and the murky clauses that are under scanner. A two-member team of India’s premier investigation agency would visit Italy to reach to the bottom of the Rs 350-crore bribery. The team would seek interrogation session with Italian firm Finmeccanica's top boss Giuseppe Orsi.
The team would consist of a senior investigator and a law officer. Though the CBI begun its probe into the matter, there was confusion about where to start it from. The entire expose is based on Italian findings, which the CBI sleuths are not much aware of. It is likely that it may begin by taking Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Ltd, the IT firm with business ties to Italian arms company Finmeccanica, under the scanner. It is the only Indian entity directly linked with the key players in the scam - alleged middlemen Guido Haschke and his partner Carlo Gerosa.
The other angle the CBI might take into account is the fake company IDS, that was allegedly used to route money as bribe to Tyagi brothers. The agency would investigate the people behind the ‘sham’ company, which didn’t find mention in any of country’s corporate data bases.
The CBI is exploring the prospects of grilling the CEO of Finmeccanica ,Giuseppe Orsi, who has been arrested by Italian authorities for allegedly paying bribes to Indian officials to swing the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.