Italian court turns down Indian request for chopper probe details

Rome: Indian Embassy in Rome’s request for documents related to the investigations into the matter has been rejected by an Italian court, while hearing the VVIP chopper deal scam case, arguing that the “information is covered by secrecy”. The Dispatch News Desk reported.

The Indian defence ministry is sending a joint secretary to Italy to gather “as much evidence as possible” relating to the allegations of corruption in the acquisition of 12 helicopters for the IAF from Italian firm AgustaWestland.

Italian authorities had arrested Finmeccanica chief Giuseppe Orsi in connection with allegations that kickbacks to the tune of Rs. 360 crore were paid in the Rs. 3,600 crore deal, sources said here today.

In a letter received by the Indian embassy, from the judge of preliminary invetigations of the Tribunal Busto Arsizio Luca Labianca it was stated that, “the investigations were, in fact, at a preliminary stage, during which, as per Article 329 of code of Penal Procedure, all information are covered by secrecy. Only parties and their lawyers were allowed to have access to the information and documents.”

The Italian judge told the Indian embassy that his office will consider a “fresh request” from the Indian side once the secrecy obligations into the matter get over. The Indian government has already ordered a CBI probe into the case and has threatened to scrap the deal.