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Two ex-Finmeccanica execs acquitted by Italian court in AgustaWestland case

Orsi was at the helm of AugustaWestland when the deal was struck and he is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes

Press Trust of India  |  Milan 

British AgustaWestland AW101 'Merlin' HC3A in June 2012 (Source: Wikipedia, Cpl Phil Major ABIPP RAF)
British AgustaWestland AW101 'Merlin' HC3A in June 2012 (Source: Wikipedia, Cpl Phil Major ABIPP RAF)

An Italian on Monday acquitted Giuseppe Orsi, the former of defence and giant Finmeccanica, of charges related to alleged bribes paid in exchange for a Rs 36 billion VVIP chopper deal to sell 12 helicopters to

was arrested in 2014 and resigned as group which was later renamed as Leonardo.

was at the helm of when the deal was struck and he is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes.

He had been sentenced to four-a-half-years years in jail for and corruption.

Bruno Spagnolini, former of the company's AgustaWestland, who had also been handed a four- year jail term on the same charges, was also cleared, Italian news agency reported.

The case against and Spagnolini resulted from an investigation launched in 2012 into the sale of 12 luxury helicopters to

had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary in January, 2014 for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks paid by the firm for securing the deal.

India's defence ministry had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 3.62 billion after the arrest of Orsi and Spagnolini by Italian investigators in connection with the case.

In February 2010, India had inked the deal to acquire 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from for VVIP use.

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 02:15 IST
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