'Italian court verdict won't affect CBI probe'

'Italian court verdict won't affect CBI probe'

'Italian court verdict won't affect CBI probe'

The CBI has an uphill task of cornering the Indians allegedly involved in the VVIP chopper deal case as an Italian court cleared Finmeccanica bosses of bribery charges.

The CBI, which has registered a case last year in connection with the alleged payment of Rs 360 crore as bribe to clear the AgustaWestland deal, believes that it still has a case to move ahead without much trouble. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has said the verdict by an Italy court would not have an effect on the agency’s investigations.

The Italian court had on Thursday found former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and ex-AgustaWestland head Bruno Spagnolini not guilty of indulging in corrupt practices for clinching the deal though it sentenced them to two-year jail on lesser charges of falsification of invoices. Finmeccanica is the parent company of AgustaWestland, which had an order of 12 VVIP choppers from India.

It is alleged that former IAF chief S P Tyagi, his cousins and others were benefited by the deal. The CBI has alleged that the bribes were transferred through a web of Indian and Tunisian software firms in the garb of technical contracts.

The Enforcement Directorate had also registered a case in July in this regard. With the Italian court exonerating the alleged bribe giver, it is to be seen how the CBI will tackle the “beneficiaries”. However, CBI officials said they would be able to pinpoint the guilt of the accused.

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