Former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi and his three cousins were today granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. Special judge Arvind Kumar granted relief to Tyagi’s cousins — Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, Rajeev Tyagi alias Doesa and Sandeep Tyagi alias Kuki — on personal bonds of Rs 1 lakh each with one surety of the like amount.
The bail was granted after the four appeared before the court in pursuance to a summons issued against them earlier, and moved bail applications today. The court also issued fresh summons against Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, and Giuseppe Orsi, former president of defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, after ED submitted that summons sent to them earlier through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the execution of those was still awaited.
The court said: “Keeping in view the overall facts and circumstances, the applicant/accused S P Tyagi, Sandeep Tyagi, Rajiv Tyagi and Sanjeev Tyagi are admitted to bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 1 lakh with one surety each of the like amount, subject to the following conditions… “Accused persons shall not try to contact or influence any witness. Accused persons shall not tamper with the evidence.
All the accused shall join investigation, if any, as and when called. Accused persons shall not leave India without prior permission of the Court.” In case of violation of any condition, bail of the accused persons will be cancelled, it said. In their applications, the three accused have submitted that they are “innocent and have nothing to do with the present offence”. ”
It is submitted that accused/applicant has joined and cooperated during an investigation by furnishing all the information and documents available with them to the concerned authorities,” they said.
ED’s special public prosecutors D P Singh and N K Matta opposed the bail applications. The ED also moved a plea seeking to declare a Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena, an accused in the case, a “proclaimed offender” in the case claiming that he did not respond to the warrants issued against him earlier. The court said it will consider the application on September 29.
Open ended warrants have already been issued against Italian middlemen Gerosa Carlo Valentino Fernando and Guido Ralph Haschke, while the extradition process of middleman Christian Michel James is already goin on.
The ED also told the court that some of the accused are based outside India and it takes minimum of three months to serve the accused persons through proper channel through MHA.
“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances, the matter is adjourned to December 18,” the court said. The court had on July 24 summoned all the accused to appear before it today.
The court also summoned as accused various other Indian and foreign individuals and companies, including lawyer Gautam Khaitan, AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica SPA.
The court had passed directions after taking cognisance of the charge sheet, saying there was enough evidence against the accused in the matter relating to the alleged money laundering to the tune of around Euro 28 million.
The ED, in its charge sheet, has alleged that money was laundered through multiple foreign companies which were used as fronts to park alleged kickbacks. On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.
Those summoned by the court include Tyagi and his cousins, Khaitan and his wife Ritu, Rajeev Saxena and his wife Shivani, both directors of two Dubai-based accused firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, O P Khaitan and Co, International Mediterranean Consulting, Tunisia and Infotech Design Systems Gordian Services.