Sanjeev Tyagi calls kickback charges a lie

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    Sanjeev Tyagi, a cousin of former Air Chief S P Tyagi, on Saturday rubbished charges of having received kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter contract, saying it was an "absolute lie" even as he admitted having met one of the middlemen 17 years ago regarding a power sector deal.

    "Everything started with a lie and it will die with that lie," Tyagi told CNN-IBN in an interview. In a report filed by Italian investigators on the defence deal in Italy, the three Tyagi brothers Julie, Docsa and Sanjeev are alleged to have received kickbacks from middlemen.

    Sanjeev said he met Guido Haschke in 1996, who has levelled allegations against him, in connection with some dealings in power sector as consultants and that he has never ventured into the defence sector in any way.

    "It is only logical that he (Haschke) knows that my cousin is Air Chief. So he started on a total wrong premise, a malicious story that he can help AgustaWestland by lowering the heights of the choppers," Sanjeev said.

    "I have never spoken to the Air Chief Marshal in connection with the deal," he said, adding that they had a strained relationship till 2007.

    However, he said that the former Air Chief may have met Carlo Gerosa, named as a middleman, during the wedding of his niece.

    Stating that he was "painfully surprised" the way his family was maligned, Sanjeev said he was ready to face a CBI investigation as "all my transactions are above board".

    "I have never dealt in the defence sector... I don't know anyone in AgustaWestland," Sanjeev claimed. "I welcome the inquiry... the truth will come out."

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