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A file Photo of AW101 VVIP Airforce Helicopter.
India Puts Delivery of VVIP Choppers on Hold

As the scam in the AgustaWestland chopper deal unfolded, India has put on hold the remaining payment of Rs 2,400 crore along with the delivery of the nine helicopters from the company, pending the outcome of the CBI probe.

India has already received three of the 12 helicopters for which the deal was struck in 2010 for Rs 3,600 crore. Three of the remaining helicopters were to arrive here next month, while the remaining six were to be delivered later this year.

India has already paid around 30 per cent of the amount but the payment of about Rs 2,400 crore for the remaining choppers is expected to be put on hold till the outcome of the CBI probe, Defence Ministry sources said here.

The first batch of three AW-101 choppers arrived last month at the Palam air base and the next batch of three more choppers was scheduled to arrive by March.

India was to pay the rest of the amount at the time of deliveries of the respective batches.

Defence Minister A K Antony today said India can "get its money back even at this stage".

Asked whether the money paid to the Italian firm so far can be claimed back by the Indian government, Antony said, "If the Indian government paid any amount of the money, as per the provisions of the integrity pact, we can get back the entire money we paid to the vendor."

Meanwhile, Italian investigation reports suggested that Guido Haschke and Christian Michael were the main middlemen in the deal and around 15 million Euros have been paid to Indian individuals as bribes of the total kickbacks of Euro 51 million.

They are alleged to be the main middlemen in the alleged deal in the Italian investigations.

In April last year, the Italian and Swiss officials raided Haschke's offices and arrested him for 24 hours after which he was released on bail.

The investigation reports also talk about taped converstaion between the middlemen suggesting that the bribe money was allegedly routed through Tunisia.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

9/D-95
Feb 15, 2013
11:33 PM

 What purpose is served by putting the deal on hold? What needs to be done is to thoroughly investigate the scam and see that the Bofors cover-up is not re-enacted. Will the CBI conduct an impartial investigation? No wonder the government was not keen on having an autonomous CBI reporting directly to the Lok Pal.

D.L.Narayan, Visakhapatnam
8/D-51
Feb 15, 2013
05:40 PM

government blocked the whole blogs of outlook for one article? dang

Indian, Bangalore
7/D-46
Feb 14, 2013
10:45 AM

Outlook India : India Puts Delivery of VVIP Choppers on Hold
New Delhi | Feb 13, 2013
 

A riddle inside an enigma wrapped in mystery.This is too intriguing a matter to be left to the CBI,that takes orders from the PM. A multi-disciplinary STF alone would be justified provided its functioning is monitored by the Supreme court.An attempt is apparently being made to target the Tyagis.What about the political heads and bureaucrats of MOD, MHA and PMO who participated in decision making? The extent of their culpability must be investigated.All records must be seized.The Italian connections of the murky deal on the analogy of the infamous Bofors scam, raises serious suspicion about the involvement of political bigwigs. The otherwise ubiquitous Congress’s spokespersons,are conspicuous by the absence.All are in damage controle mode.
 

A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)
www.aksaxena.co.in
blog.aksaxena.co.in

A K SAXENA, DELHI.INDIA
6/D-41
Feb 14, 2013
10:22 AM

 the congi's lets the two italian murderers get away to italy on a silver plane! - Harish Naik

Much as I would like to blame the Con-gress for everything, this is not correct. It was the court (not the government) which relaxed the bail conditions to allow the two marines to return to Italy to spend Christmas with their families. Further, last I heard, they had returned to India and are awaiting trial.

The SC has ruled that they can be tried in India, but the prosecution must be the centre and not Kerala.

Bonita, Chennai
5/D-40
Feb 14, 2013
10:22 AM

The investigating agencies, intelligence agencies, cover-up agencies and clean-up agencies are going to have their hands full now. While the 'operation salvage' is underway, we will have the diggis, tiwaris,iyers (not to mention friendly-neighbourhood MSM) providing the cover fire.

K.Suresh, Bangalore
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