'Political party in Berlusconi coalition a beneficiary'

VVIP chopper deal

Following up on our exclusive, The Indian Express here breaks down the Italian probe report to explain exactly how and when the scandal broke.

THE INSIDER ACCOUNT

Pages 7-11

This is the sensational insider account of a former AgustaWestland official who was the first to blow the lid on the scam.

The investigation started in 2011 after an open succession war between Francesco Guarguanglini, who was then heading Finmeccanica, the parent company of Agusta, and his successor, Giuseppe Orsi, who now heads the Italian company. Meanwhile, late last year, Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government, which had as coalition partners parties such as the far-right Lega Nord (now alleged to have received kickbacks to swing the deal in Italy), was replaced by one led by technocrat Mario Monti. This prompted Lorenzo Borgogni, a former top employee of Finmeccanica and an Orsi-baiter, to blow the whistle on Agusta's deal with the Indian government. Borgogni told prosecutors in a detailed statement that kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland for the Indian contract through the use of middlemen and that the total amount came up to Euro 51 million.

Borgogni detailed how the money was paid through a network of middlemen and consultants, with the main allegation being that at least Euro 10 million was funnelled back to Italy and paid to the Lega Nord party in return for its support to Orsi's bid to become president of Finmeccanica.

In his interrogation, Borgogni says the company decided to divert funds for commissions, knowing how risky it is to hire agents for Indian deals.

Chop-a-deal

THE MAIN CHARGE

The first two pages of the Italian document details the main accused in the VVIP chopper scandal case. It names the Finmecannica CEO, other officials of the company, the three alleged middlemen Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Christian Michel as well the Indians to whom money was allegedly paid. In particular, there is a specific allegation on page two that former air chief SP Tyagi was paid money through his cousins, the Tyagi brothers, to favour AgustaWestland in the contract.

... contd.

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