Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, who headed the Indian Air Force (IAF) for over three years (January 2004 to March 2007), was interrogated by CBI officials on Wednesday for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the Rs3,750-crore deal with AgustaWestland for the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters.
Besides Tyagi, his two cousins — Sanjeev (Julie) and Rajeev (Docsa) Tyagi — were also questioned at the agency’s Delhi headquarters. “They were quizzed in connection with their association with alleged middleman Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschkhe,” a senior CBI official said.
The former IAF chief’s name was mentioned by Italian investigators when they arrested top executives of AgustaWestland’s Italy-based parent company Finmeccanica in February for paying bribes through Gerosa and Haschkhe to swing the deal in their favour. A probe by Italian prosecutors claims that Tyagi and other Indian officials tweaked the tenders in 2006 so that AgustaWestland would beat other competing manufacturers.
It is alleged that Finmeccanica paid the middlemen about Rs2.8 crore through a consultancy contract between AgustaWestland and Gordian Services Sarl. Of this, Rs72 lakh were paid in cash to the Tyagi brothers.