Ex-IAF chief S.P. Tyagi gets bail in AgustaWestland case

New Delhi : Former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi and others were granted bail by a court here on Wednesday in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar asked Tyagi and others, who appeared before him, to furnish a personal bond of Rs one lakh and surety bond of like amount each.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary charge sheet in the chopper deal case against 34 individuals and foreign and Indian companies, including Tyagi, his two cousins, advocate Gautam Khaitan and Italians Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke.

Former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini, and Giuseppe Orsi, former chief of Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica, and others were also chargesheeted in the case.

The charge sheet, which mentions money laundering of around 28 million euros, named Orsi, Bruno, Tyagi's cousins Sanjeev Tyagi and Rajiv Tyagi along with Rajeev Saxena, Director of Dubai-based firm Matrix Holdings, his wife Shivani Saxena and Khaitan's wife Ritu Khaitan.

Among the Indian and foreign companies named are Aeromatrix Info Solution Ltd, Windsor Group Holdings, Ismax International Ltd, Cricklewood Ltd, Long Lasting Ltd, Matrix Holding Pvt Ltd, UHY Saxena, Dubai Interstellar Technologies Ltd, O.P. Khaitan and Co International Mediterranean Consulting, Tunisia Infotech Design Systems, Gordian Services, Finmeccanica SPA and AgustaWestland.

The ED said kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland through two different channels -- one handled by middleman Christian Michel James and the other by Gerosa and Haschke.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too has filed a charge sheet in the case.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled a contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF, over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks totalling Rs 423 crore.

The CBI alleged that the then Indian Air Force chief took bribes of several crores from AgustaWestland through the middlemen -- and a complex set of companies in several countries -- to change specifications of the contract.