NDA changed specs, UPA implemented them: MoD

AugustaWestland

The Italian investigation report has said that AgustaWestland paid bribes after a middleman claimed he could fix the technical requirements to favour the entry of the helicopter manufacturer for the Rs 3,546-crore contract.

In his confession statement to Italian prosecutors, the Swiss-based middleman Guido Haschke has said that when he first arranged a meeting between Finmeccanica officials and Tyagi in early 2005, the specifications for the deal required the helicopter to be capable of flying at an altitude of 18,000 ft.

Haschke has also said that the first time he met Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi in 2005, the changes had not been done. "The first meeting with Orsi (Spring 2005) happened when the operational ceiling had not yet been lowered. This is what I can remember today," Haschke has said.

He also claims that over the next few months, he met Tyagi several times and the then Air Chief told him in one of these meetings that the requirements for the chopper were being lowered soon.

"Tyagi informed us that the operational ceiling would be lowered. Carlo and I thanked him for coming to the office. The meeting was very short. I don't remember exactly if the operational ceiling was lowered before or after summer 2005," the middleman has said.

Haschke has also spoken of another meeting in 2006, when he says the requirements had been relaxed. "During this meeting we spoke about the technical specifications of the AW101 helicopters. The operational ceiling had already been lowered," he has said.

According to the Italian investigation report, the middlemen were first paid by Finmeccanica in 2005 to try and get the specifications changed and regular payoffs in the form of phoney engineering contracts started from 2007 and continued at least until 2011.

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