CBI grills ex-IAF chief in chopper scam

CBI grills ex-IAF chief in chopper scam

Murky deal: Agency says Tyagi visited Italy after retirement

CBI grills ex-IAF chief in chopper scam

The CBI on Monday claimed that former Air Force chief S P Tyagi visited Italy after his retirement.

The agency is probing whether it is connected to the VVIP chopper deal. Agency sources said Tyagi, who appeared before the agency in AgustaWestland bribery scandal, facing allegations of taking bribes, visited Florence, Milan and Venice probably in 2008 or 2009 and investigations are on to ascertain who funded the trip, who accompanied him and who all he met.

Tyagi has been asked to appear again on Tuesday. Lawyer and middleman in the deal Gautam Khaitan has also been summoned besides Tyagi's cousins during the week. The CBI will look into Tyagi’s bank accounts and assets.

“We are figuring out the purpose of SP Tyagi's visit to Italy after retirement," a senior CBI official said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also summoned Tyagi on May 4 in connection with the money-laundering case emerging out of the FIR filed by CBI.

The summons to Tyagi came following the sentencing of two former top officials of Italy-based Finmeccanica, the mother company of UK-based AgustaWestland, on corruption charges. The judgment said that Tyagi along with others had taken bribes. CBI questioned Tyagi earlier in 2013.

Tyagi and 12 others, including his cousins Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep, were named in an FIR by CBI in 2013 on charges of cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy.

It was claimed that Rs 360 crore was paid as bribe through a maze of companies, including Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix.

Investigators are ascertaining whether he met AgustaWestland officials around half-a-dozen times before he retired in 2007.

 The first meeting was in 2004 when Tyagi was Air Force vice chief.

There were two in 2005, including one at Bengaluru airshow where the company had set up a stall.