Investigative reports in Indian Express: Probing AgustaWestland deal, tracking Christian Michel trailhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/series-of-investigative-reports-in-indian-express-investigating-agusta-deal-tracking-michel-trail-5661405/

Investigative reports in Indian Express: Probing AgustaWestland deal, tracking Christian Michel trail

From the first raids at middlemen Guido Haschke’s offices to his connections in India and from Christian Michel’s role to taped conversations that named ‘AP’ and ‘FAM’, these are among the key reports that prompted a probe that led to the cancellation of the deal in 2014.

Investigative reports in Indian Express: Probing AgustaWestland deal, tracking Christian Michel trail
The Indian Express first reported on Michel’s India links.

The revelations in the fourth supplementary chargesheet of the Enforcement Directorate in the AgustaWestland deal case were first reported by Manu Pubby in a series of reports in The Indian Express. From the first raids at middlemen Guido Haschke’s offices to his connections in India and from Christian Michel’s role to taped conversations that named ‘AP’ and ‘FAM’, these are among the key reports that prompted a probe that led to the cancellation of the deal in 2014.

 

April 25, 2012

Italy probes Agusta Westland deal, Guido Haschke offices searched

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Based on the testimony of Lorenzo Borgogni, the former head of external relations of Finmeccanica, Agusta Westland’s parent company, Italian investigators raided the offices of consultant Guido Ralph Haschke. Borgogni alleged that Haschke was initially hired as an “intermediary” for a sum of 41 million euros, and that his “compensation” was raised at the last minute by 10 million euros. The Italy probe focused on this escalation of 10 million euros, which were allegedly used to bribe Italian political parties.

Also Read | Michel to court: Never named anybody, ED has leaked the chargesheet

April 26, 2012

Defence Minister seeks report

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Following the report by The Indian Express, then Defence Minister A K Anthony sought a fresh report on the procurement of the 12 helicopters sold to India. He said any wrongdoing would attract the strict integrity clause and directed his ministry to obtain a report from Indian officials in Rome into the role of Haschke in the chopper deal.

Also Read | Indian Express exposed Michel, Tyagi, note with initials; mentioned in chargesheet

April 28, 2012

Haschke’s connections in India

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Haschke, who claimed to provide ‘Project Advisory Services’, worked with several Indian companies and individuals either interested in investing in Italian entities or hoping to forge offset partnerships with foreign firms that have won Indian defence contracts. Haschke was active since the chopper deal was inked in February 2010 and had met Indian companies and investors. Haschke was involved in more than seven consultancy companies based in Europe and held dual citizenship of Switzerland and the US.

October 23, 2012

Christian Michel role emerges

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The Italian probe into the VVIP chopper deal shifted focus to Christian Michel. He was already active in India’s defence sector. Also, the Ministry of Defence asks Italian authorities for information on their investigations into the VVIP chopper deal.

October 25, 2012

Italy probe includes Finmeccanica India head

According to court documents of the Italian probe into the deal contained in a 100-page court order by the Tribunal of Naples, Italy prosecutors tapped phone conversations of Haschke with the India head of the Finmeccanica, Girasole Paolo, as well as some unnamed ‘Indian individuals’. Phone conversations between Haschke, Paolo and unnamed Indians suggest that commission money was routed through Mauritius and Tunisia.

February 13, 2013

Italy probe names former Air Chief S P Tyagi

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Italian investigators allege that Finmeccanica bribed S P Tyagi when he was Air Force chief to swing the VVIP chopper deal in Agusta Westland’s favour. Italian court documents show Tyagi was paid “certain amount of money, not yet quantified” through intermediaries.

December 8, 2013

Haschke papers name ‘AP’ & ‘FAM’

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Italian court documents show Haschke and Michel drew up a “budget”, which allegedly lists Indian politicians and designations of bureaucrats and IAF officers who need to be “handled” to swing the chopper deal. Under the heading “POL”, there were two references — to “AP” and “FAM”. And under the heading “BUR”, the document listed “DS”, “JS AIR”, “AFA”, “DG Acquisition” and “another Gen”.

Also read | PM brings up AP and FAM, Jaitley says a diary can be admissible

January 2, 2014 Govt cancels chopper deal

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