Investigation into chopper deal on at 'many levels': Khurshid

Investigation into chopper deal on at 'many levels': Khurshid

Holding that investigation into the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal was on at "many levels", India today said Letters Rogatory is the "best and strongest method" available to it for seeking details from Italian courts on the case.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also said a CBI team from here has gone to Milan in Italy to get material and details about the case.

"Our courts have to issue them and they have to be addressed by Italian courts. But it (Letters Rogatory) is the best and strongest method available to us and hope that will work," he told reporters here.

He was responding to a question on whether Letters Rogatory would be the best way to get details from Italian authorities after a court in Milan had last week refused to share any details with India on the case.

A Letters Rogatory or letter of request is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance.

Khurshid said the Indian Government has not been able to get "concrete materials" from Italian authorities.

"We are not able to get concrete materials from Italians. So far whatever they have done, we have reacted and responded. But up to this point they have not indicated anything. They are unable to share with us anything," he said.

The Minister said it was little premature to get to any conclusion on the issue as the CBI team from India is there to get details.

"Our team is there to gather information and materials which can be analysed when they come," he said.

On whether the issue would be taken up with British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit here, Khurshid said, "No idea. I have no idea. I have not looked at the agenda.

"I know what the agenda was a week ago. I don't know what the agenda is, is there a revised agenda at all. I would think that one prepares an agenda much before because it is shared on both sides and you can't take any visiting dignitary by surprise," the Minister said.

"It will really depend upon how much consultation has taken place. And it may not necessarily be something of his level because there are many levels at which the investigations and outreach is taking place and it is only in due course that then it goes to the highest level. It may not be at his level and, as I said, I am not aware of the (revised) agenda," he said.

India is taking steps to scrap the contract after Italian investigators probed allegations that aerospace group Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, had broken the law by paying bribes.

The helicopters, three of which have already been delivered, are manufactured in southwest England. 

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