'Delayed' arrest of S P Tyagi raises suspicion: JD (U)

| Updated: Dec 10, 2016 13:40 IST

Patna (Bihar) [India], Dec. 10 (ANI): Commenting on the arrest of former Indian Air Force chief S. P. Tyagi for his alleged involvement in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal scam, the Janata Dal (United) said Saturday that the delayed arrest raises suspicion. "His (S. P. Tyagi) name has been in the case for quite some time but he has been arrested only now. So, somewhere, there is a suspicion as to why he wasn't being arrested for so many days and why only now," JD (U) leader Ajay Alok told ANI. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer-businessman Gautam Khaitan were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) yesterday in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case. The trio were arrested on charges of accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt and illegal means during the deal. The role of the UPA government and former IAF chief Tyagi in the scam has reportedly been validated by an Italian court in the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for IAF for Rs 3,600-crores for VVIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister. On April 8, the Milan Court of Appeals ruled that the Rs 3,565 crore AW contract involved payoffs to Indian officials. Overturning a lower court judgement that said corruption could not be proved, the court of appeals found Giuseppe Orsi, the powerful former chief of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, who headed the chopper division AW, guilty of international corruption and money laundering. As per reports, prosecutors in the court produced a note purportedly written by Christian Michel to Peter Hullet, the India head of the Anglo-Italian company, in 2008, revealing that he had advised the people handling the VVIP helicopter deal on the company's behalf to target people close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, including the prime minister and some of her closest advisers, to win the contract. This is the first time that a service chief of India has been arrested on alleged defence procurement corruption charges. He and the others are likely to be produced in a Delhi court on Saturday. (ANI)