Italy refuses to share chopper scam docs

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 19:51 hrs

A court in Italy has ruled that India cannot have access to the documents involving the Rs 4,000-crore 12-helicopter deal that Italian defence giant Finmeccanica allegedly won by bribing Indian officials.

The court informed the Indian embassy in Rome on Saturday that the investigation is at an initial stage and the documents can, for now, only be shared with the parties in the case and their counsels, media reports said.

A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, and a joint secretary of the Defence Ministry are expected to leave for Italy on Sunday to gather information about the case, media reports said.

India on Friday started the procedure of cancelling the deal by sending AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, a formal notice and sought a response in seven days.

The scandal, over the alleged kickbacks worth Rs 360 crores that Finmeccanica paid to win a deal to supply India 12 helicopters for use by VVIPs in 2010, grabbed headlines in India following the arrest of company chief Giuseppe Orsi earlier this month.

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