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VVIP chopper case: Five highlights of the Italian court order

Following the court order, Subramaniam Swamy has linked Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress party, to the Agusta Westland chopper deal

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2016 10:00 pm
agusta westland, VVIP chopper deal, chopper deal, sonia gandhi, subramaniam swamy, italian court of appeals, italy court order, VVIP chopper case, congress, BJP Members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI Photo / TV GRAB)

The battle-lines have been drawn between the Congress and the BJP after Subramaniam Swamy linked Sonia Gandhi in the Agusta Westland chopper deal when he spoke for the first time after being nominated in the Rajya Sabha. Even before he could complete his statement, Congress leader rushed into the Well of the Upper House shouting slogans against Swamy and the government.

Swamy’s statement comes in the backdrop of an observation made by the Italian Court of Appeals in the case which has generated heavy political fire in the country.

Here are five highlights of the court order:

1. The court has observed that there are “unmistakable indications regarding corruption of an Indian officer”, identified as the cousin of Tyagi brothers — pointing at Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi, the then Chief of Air Staff who allegedly reduced the ceiling height of Agusta Westland choppers. The former IAF chief’s name figures prominently in the 225-page judgment by the Italian court.

2. The annexures and submissions attached to the judgment point at close to Euro 30 million worth of commission being budgeted for distribution among decision-makers in India. These included politicians, bureaucrats and Air Force officials, among others.

Watch Video | Agusta Westland: Why Is It A Big Deal Politically Now?

3. The document takes cognizance of various conversations between middlemen Carlos Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guildo Haschke — reported earlier by The Indian Express. In these conversations, the three discuss “Mrs Gandhi” as the driving force behind the “VIP” and her closest advisers Ahmed Patel and Pranab Mukherjee as being “the aim of the British high commissioner” in the VVIP chopper race.

4. A note titled “budget expenditure items” indicates the amounts the middlemen earmarked for distribution among Indian decision-makers. The handwritten note mentions the amounts against officials at various appointments in “AF”, mentioned elsewhere in the document as Air Force, “Bur” for bureaucrats, and “Pol” for politicians, which lists the initials AP (mentioned elsewhere in the judgment as “It corresponds to Ahmed Patel”) and “family” (referring to the Tyagi family).

5. The judgment refers to a letter dated March 15, 2008 from middleman Christian Michel, a fugitive, to Peter Hulet, then India region sales and liaison head of Agusta Westland, created specifically for the chopper deal. It reads: “Dear Peter, since Mrs. Gandhi is the driving force behind the VIP, she will no longer fly with MI8 … Mrs. Gandhi and her closest advisers are the aim of the High Commissioner, senior advisor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh obviously the main figure, then there’s Ahmed Patel Secretary “.

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  1. P
    Proud.to.be.a.brahmin
    Apr 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm
    And all that happens without any knowledge to bRAWminions and Iyer Bureau((IB)? lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;That means there are individuals who can EASILY BEAT bRAWminions IN THEIR OWN GAME. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And we pay them through tax money or is it Ambanis and Malayas?
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    1. P
      Proud.to.be.a.brahmin
      Apr 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm
      I am very proud that Admiral THYAGI is a BRAHMIN.
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      1. I
        IML sood
        Apr 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm
        Now most of the Delhi people are awaiting response of self claimed King of anti corrupt party(which in fact is otherwise) about the big scandal where their bosom Akkas are being named.Why a big lock on their mouths,why their big wide mouth spokesman is mute?Does it not show their B team role of Cong.party.Where are corruption charges against former CM,Dixit or new friend Lalu,is their any answer?
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        1. P
          Paul
          Apr 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm
          Are you expressing your opinion or writing a puzzle to be solved by readers? Who are you afraid of? Please write clearly so that readers can understand it.
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          1. G
            George
            Apr 27, 2016 at 6:14 pm
            These thugs to be put in the jail in Andaman and keys thrown into the sea. Looters of India destro the nation for 60 years and now disrupting parliament.
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