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New Delhi: A CBI team is likely to leave for Italy today to probe the allegations of kickbacks in the $750m deal for the 12 AgustaWestland 101 choppers, officials said.
Official sources said the team, comprising a senior investigating officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a law officer, would meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain the details of the case.
“The team will leave as soon as possible. Hopefully by Monday,” an official told IANS.
He said a lawyer is likely to be engaged in Italy to help the team understand the Italian law, represent India’s case with the local courts, and expedite the process of getting documents.
The defence ministry is also sending a senior joint secretary to Italy “to gather as much evidence as possible” relating to the allegations of corruption in the acquisition of the helicopters for the VVIP use by the Indian
The official, A K Bal, will leave for Rome today.
Sources said that the Defence Ministry official and the CBI team were likely to travel together
to Italy. They said the CBI team will probe if firms had been floated to route kickbacks in the helicopter deal with AgustaWestland, a Britain-based subsidiary of Italian firm Finmeccanica.
They said the investigating agency has so far not registered a case as it wants to get more information about the kickbacks and establish authenticity of documents.
The sources said the CBI was handed over a letter from the Defence Ministry seeking a probe which also contained some press clippings. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has also sought a report from the ministry on alleged irregularities in the chopper deal. IANS