Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday informed that his ministry had sought access to documents from the concerned Italian Court in the criminal case involving alleged wrongdoing in the matter of procurement of 12 VVIP / VIP helicopters and has received a number of documents from Italy.
“Since the CBI investigation is going on, it may not be in the interest of the investigation to give details,” said Antony in a written reply to Dilip Kumar Mansukhlal Gandhi in Lok Sabha today.
“During the course of investigation by CBI in this matter, "Letter Rogatory" to several countries have already been issued by the concerned Court in India,” he added.
The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland had come under scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribe money was given by the company to clinch the deal.
The Italian prosecutor, who carried out the preliminary enquiry, alleged that the CEO of Finmeccanica, parent company of UK-based AgustaWestland, had used services of middlemen to bribe Indian officials in India.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far named 11 people, including former Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi, and his three cousins in its preliminary enquiry into the AgustaWestland deal for 12 VVIP helicopters.
The CBI team has registered the preliminary inquiry on the basis of some important documents obtained from the Italian probe agencies into the alleged payment of kickbacks by AgustaWestland in India to bag the deal, and a full-fledged case would be registered once it finds sufficient evidence.
The Defence Ministry had earlier threatened to cancel the deal and sought a CBI probe after the CEO of Agusta Westland's parent company, Finmeccanica, was arrested in Italy for paying bribes.