The defence lawyers in the VVIP chopper deal corruption scandal that is being heard in an Italian court have said that a top former official of AgustaWestland who had claimed in the court on Tuesday that then Air Chief SP Tyagi had been hosted by the company in Milan is mistaken and that he confused Tyagi with his successor FH Major who had come on an official tour to Italy in 2008.
In the ongoing court procedures in Italy, the defence team of Giuseppe Orsi – the former CEO of AgustaWestland who is on trial for facilitating kickbacks worth 51 million euros to swing the bribe – has debunked the argument of the prosecution that Tyagi – and accused in the case – had been hosted by the company while he was serving as the Air Chief in 2007.
Arguing that Orsi could not have met Tyagi in 2007 in Milan as was claimed by Agusta’s former senior vice president for international business, Giacomo Saponaro in the court on Tuesday, the defending team has said that the Indian officer (who has been named in a CBI FIR into the matter) had not been to Italy.
Insisting that the meeting between Tyagi and Orsi is a figment of imagination, the defence argued that Saponaro was confused and had mistaken the facts of the case. According to the lawyers, Tyagi has never been in Italy and contended that Saponaro was confusing the official visit of his successor, FH Major to Italy that took place in January 2008.
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The matter has come a surprise to the prosecution as they had even produced a photograph of SP tyago at the court hearings and Saponaro had identified him as the man who had been hosted by Agusta in 2007.
As reported by the Indian Express, the former top official told the Italian court that Orsi took Tyagi to a fancy theatre performance and also hosted an expensive dinner for him in early 2007.
Saponaro told the court that Orsi took the then IAF chief to the Teotro alla Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world located in Milan. After the performance, Saponaro claimed Tyagi was taken for a fancy dinner at the restaurant of the opera house, the Biffi Scala. Saponaro had claimed the expenses for the evening were borne by the Anglo-Italian company.