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    India Sends Letters to 8 States Over Italian-Made Chopper Deal Probe

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    India has sent letters of request to eight countries in relation to a corruption probe into the process of procuring helicopters from an Italian producer, AgustaWestland, for the Indian Air Force, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Thursday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — According to the spokesman, letters of request have been sent to the diplomatic missions of Italy, Tunisia, Mauritius, Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.

    "I can confirm that we have received a communication in this regard from the CBI [India's Central Bureau of Investigation] seeking an update on the execution reports of the letters rogatory that were sent earlier to eight countries. We have once again written to our missions in the concerned countries from where the execution reports are pending in order to impress upon them the need to expeditiously execute the alerts and send their corresponding execution reports at the earliest," the spokesman said.

    On April 8, an Italian court found Giuseppe Orsi, the former head of the Finmeccanica industrial group, and the head of the chopper division of AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini, guilty of international corruption and sentenced them to 4.5 and four years in prison, respectively, in respect to a deal for the sale of 12 helicopters to India.

    The corruption scandal emerged in early 2013 when Orsi was arrested for giving a multimillion bribe to Indian officials while concluding the chopper deal. Last week, a court ruled that former Indian Air Force chief Shashi Tyagi had been involved in corruption during the procurement process for the 12 AgustaWestland choppers.

    India annulled the deal to purchase the AgustaWestland helicopters on January 1, 2014.


    Indian Ministry: Corruption Behind Chopper Deal With Italian Producer
    helicopter, corruption, AgustaWestland, India, Italy
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