VVIP chopper deal: Italian prosecutors seek conviction of Orsi, Spagnolini

VVIP chopper deal Italian prosecutors seek conviction of Orsi, SpagnoliniNEW DELHI: Italian prosecutors have sought six-year jail term for former Finmeccannica CEO Guiseppe Orsi and five-year term for former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini for their alleged role in payment of bribes in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal with India.

Italian authorities are carrying out separate investigations into the alleged bribery scandal involving the supply of 12 VVIP choppers to India under a deal which has already been scrapped by the Defense Ministry.

The Italian prosecutors have sought the jail terms for Orsi and Spagnolini in an Italian court in Milan, according to Italian media reports.

The two officials have denied allegations of any wrongdoing against them.

The Italian prosecutors have also sought confiscation of property of both the officials worth around 7.5 million Euros as price of corruption, the reports said.

The reports suggested that the Indian side also joined the Italian prosecutors in demanding conviction of Orsi and Spagnolini.

After scrapping the deal, India has encashed a guarantee of over Rs 2,200 crore deposited by AgustaWestland in banks in Delhi and Italy.

The IAF has plans of using the Russian-origin Mi-17 helicopters for ferrying VVIPs. The IAF, at present, uses the Mi-8 choppers for the task but these machines are planned to be phased out in near future.

Investigations are on by the CBI and other Indian authorities into the allegations of corruption and their outcome is still awaited.–PTI