Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

India parliament committee starts Finmeccanica 'graft' probe


New Delhi, February 27 - India's Senate agreed
Wednesday to establish a parliamentary commission to investigate
a scandal-plagued helicopter contract with a division of Italy's
Finmeccanica defence giant.
A motion to set up the commission was hotly debated, after
Defence Minister A.K. Antony threatened to severely punish those
responsible for alleged corruption in the $750 million US
contract for 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland.
Opposition politicians in India's Senate accused the
government of using the commission to delay dealing with the
In response, Antony said he would "black-list" any
companies violating anti-corruption laws.
"No one will be spared," he said.
Earlier this month, AgustaWestland said that it was
cooperating with the Indian military in its investigation of an
allegedly tainted helicopter contract for the purchase of 12
AW-101 helicopters, now linked to accusations of bribery.
Those accusations led to the resignation and arrest of
Finmeccanica chief executive officer Giuseppe Orsi earlier this
month, and to a threat to completely cancel the purchase
contract by the Indian government.
India has already taken the initial steps to cancel the
helicopter contract.
It froze payments on the units, two of which have been
delivered and one on the way, pending the results of the
corruption probe.
India's defence ministry also said it had asked
Finmeccanica's new CEO, Alessandro Pansa, for any information he
might be able to provide on suspected bribes.
Finmeccanica is Italy's biggest defence contractor and a
major world player, employing some 70,000 people.

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