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CBI probe ordered into Italian helicopter deal

CBI probe ordered into Italian helicopter deal

New Delhi: India's defence ministry Tuesday ordered a CBI probe into the contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland helicopters from Italian defence firm Finmeccanica following arrest of its chief executive Giuseppe Orsi on corruption charges relating to the $800-million deal.

The defence ministry, in a release, said reports had appeared in the media from time to time on the issue of Italian prosecutors having initiated a probe into the alleged unethical dealings of Finmeccanica, and widening to include the Indian contract signed in February 2010.

It said in view of media reports, the defence ministry, through the external affairs ministry, sought information from the governments of Italy and Britain as AgustaWestland is a subsidiary of Finmeccanica.

"The contract signed with M/s. AgustaWestland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence as well as an integrity pact. Since no specific input has been received so far from the two governments, MoD has decided to refer the case to CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) for inquiry," the defence ministry release said.

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