The judgment of the Italian Court of Appeals in Milan may have triggered a political storm in India, but the only prosecutions the judgment talks about are of Guiseppe Orsi, CEO of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of Agusta Westland, Finmeccanica’s subsidiary. The judgment is based on the statements given by the middleman Guido Haschke, documents recovered from his suitcase, and his conversations with his business partner Carlo Gerosa and the London-based middleman Christian Michel, and other witnesses.
On the Indian side, the judgment refers to the Tyagi brothers — Juli, Docsa and Sandeep Tyagi — the Tyagi “family”, as well as to their cousin, the former Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi.
In a version of the translation from the Italian, the court verdict reads: “Orsi and Spagnolini initially corresponded with Haschke and Gerosa through a consultancy contract between AW (AgustaWestland) SpA (equivalent to Pvt Ltd) and GORDIAN SERVICES sarl (like a limited liability company) about EUR 400,000, of which EUR 100,000 was given in cash to the Tyagi brothers. Next, engineering contracts were signed with IDS to provide cover to INDIA and TUNISIA… for monies used to compensate Indian officials and brokers Haschke and Gerosa… Orsi and Spagnolini also corresponded with the consultant Michel Christian for the sum of approximately EUR 30 million partly intended for corrupt activities aimed at the acquisition of the order and execution of the contract…”
In the translated version of the verdict, the court has said: “It is considered equitable to establish base year worth two years and six months imprisonment… augmented by four months imprisonment for any tax year challenged — and therefore a total of one year’s imprisonment for the additional tax charges, and one for the final four years and six months imprisonment” for Orsi and Spagnolini. The judgment has also asked the defenders — Spagnolini and Orsi — to pay EUR 7000.
The 226-page document makes mentions of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmad Patel and Pranab Mukherjee at four places — primarily in reference to the communications of the middlemen. The judgment speaks of Air Chief Marshal Tyagi’s “wrongfulness of conduct”. “Ultimately, there are no elements of certainty to affirm this beyond any reasonable doubt that the reduction in the operating height was made contrary to the public (duty), and then (Air Chief) Marshal Tyagi carried out specific acts contrary to his duty; it remains, anyway, the wrongfulness of his conduct, for having offered to cooperate with AW in an economic operation which prohibited all forms of mediation, and for having received a large compensation in relation to its institutional activity…”
The court also commented on “specific acts” by Tyagi “in order to ensure that (AW) could participate in the race and win the contract”.
“From the above, it is an act not in conflict with the duties of official public office… In this regard it is noted that this form of corruption certainly falls in the category of conduct penalized by Art. 322 bis, c. 2 n. 2, CP…,” reads a version of the translation of the order.
Orsi and Spagnolini were acquitted by a lower court, which, however, convcted them of lesser charges and sentenced them to two years in jail. The Court of Appeals overturned the verdict of the lower court and convicted the two Finmeccanica officials.