TIMELINE: Indian officials are 'morons', will take years to track links, middlemen had said

1. Indian helicopter deal sparks corruption row in Italy

- Probe by Italian prosecutors into allegations of corruption against state-backed defence major Finmeccanica casts shadow over the multi-million dollar deal that the company signed with India for 12 VVIP helicopters.

2. Antony orders probe into VVIP copter deal

- The Indian Express brings to light allegations of corruption against Finmeccanica. Defence Minister A K Antony orders probe into the matter. Sources say that Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma has been asked to look into the allegations of corruption in the deal

3. VVIP helicopters: Italian firm says deal above board

- Days after Defence Minister A K Antony orders a probe into allegations of corruption

in the deal, the Italian firm asserts there was no "irregularity" in the deal and that it had not received any notice of an offer.

4. India helicopter deal: Italy probes Euro 51 mn 'payoff'

- In its biggest ever corruption probe into defence agreements, The Indian Express reports that Italy was investigating whether a commission of 51 million Euros was paid by helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland to a Switzerland-based consultant for a deal to sell 12 VVIP helicopters to India

5. Antony seeks report on Italy chopper deal investigation

- A day after The Indian Express reported details of an Italian investigation into commissions allegedly paid for the procurement of 12 helicopters sold to India in February 2010, Defence Minister A K Antony asked for a fresh report on the matter. His ministry said any wrongdoing would attract the strict integrity clause.

6. Italian under probe was active in Indian defence sector

- The consultant whose offices in Switzerland were raided by Italian authorities was an "offsets expert" who has been very active in the Indian defence sector. Guido Ralph Haschke, who claims to provide 'Project Advisory Services', has in the past few years worked with several Indian companies and individuals either interested in investing in Italian entities or hoping to forge offset partnerships with foreign firms that have won Indian defence contracts.

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