New Delhi: Former Air Vice Marshal N.V. Tyagi’s questioning by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) over his alleged role in the Rs. 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal has begun at the top investigative agency’s headquarters in CGO complex here on Thursday.
The CBI will also continue grilling former board member of Aeromatrix and alleged middleman in the case Gautam Khaitan.
The CBI yesterday grilled former IAF chief S.P. Tyagi for the third consecutive day during which the latter admitted to having financial interest in four companies.
The CBI is also looking into Tyagi’s international visits after his retirement and his bank accounts and assets.
The CBI team had registered a preliminary enquiry on the basis of some important documents that it had obtained from Italian probe agencies in connection with the alleged payment of kickbacks by AgustaWestland to bag the chopper deal. A complete case would be registered once sufficient evidence is procured.
The Defence Ministry had earlier threatened to cancel the chopper deal and sought a CBI probe after the CEO of AgustaWestland’s parent company, Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested in Italy for his role in paying bribes.
The CBI had registered a case against Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen.
The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.
Tyagi has denied allegations against him and said the change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved. (ANI)