In what could weaken the Congress’s defence in the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, Italian judge Marco Maria Maiga of the Milan Court of Appeals, who delivered the verdict in bribery case, has told NDTV that a note from a middleman listing “AP” as the intended recipient of a bribe is authentic.
The government has alleged that “AP” refers to Ahmed Patel, political adviser to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The Congress had challenged the veracity of the document, and said there was no conclusive finding to show on Indian politicians accepted kickbacks.
Judge Maiga told NDTV on Wednesday that his trial focused on the Italian bribe-givers. “My judgment does not give a clean chit to Indian politicians. It is up to India to now follow up on investigating its politicians.”
In interviews to other television channels, Maiga said that identifying the Indians involved was not in for judgment for Italian courts. “Well, we have to clarify that the object of our judgment was on two Italian businessmen and their indictment,” he said, adding that the order was based on documents that showed that former IAF chief S P Tyagi’s family received money till April 2012.
Commenting on the “disinterest” from the Indian side — a word he mentioned in his judgment — he said, “All we had was a copy of the CAG, request for proposal, agreement copy and nothing more than that… We can take note of what is sent to us.”