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Who Can Help Crack Copter Scam Mystery?
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
India should not bank on Italy to unravel the Agusta Westland helicopter corruption. Indeed, circumstantial evidence suggests that the Italians could actually mislead Indian authorities regarding the truth. The scam erupted in full force only after the Italian government arrested the CEO of AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica on charges of corruption. This raised high hopes in certain Indian circles that the Italians will do what the UPA government refuses to do. The hopes could be misplaced. The reasons are complex.
The Italian exposure that led to the arrest of Italian businessmen has resulted from the fight between Italy’s political parties on the eve of a general election.
Mr. Berlusconi said:
In other words the system exists and must be allowed to continue. One suspects that the UPA government heartily agrees with the views of Mr. Berlusconi. That is why it refused for one whole year to investigate the copter deal. That is why it is only going through the motions now to placate public opinion. The deal has not been canceled. It may never be.
Instead the effort will be on to defuse the crisis through a phony investigation that nails small-time players and protects the main culprits. That will suit both the Italian and Indian political establishments. The Italians have already created a red herring to draw attention away from the truth. With considerable fanfare Italian documents have been released nailing family relatives of Air Chief Marshal Tyagi. The Tyagi family has denied all charges relating to the copter deal although it has acknowledged business links with Italian firms in the power sector. If at all, the Tyagi clan might be a bit player in the copter deal.
Consider some facts.
The Italian court has refused to share information from documents in its possession with Indian authorities. The Italians say that at this point of time there is need to maintain secrecy. How is secrecy compromised by sharing information with investigators probing the same deal with ostensibly the same motives? Sharing information with Indian investigators is not the same as sharing information with the public. Are not both India and Italy claiming to unravel the truth? Cooperation between the probe teams of both governments should help not harm the investigation. Or are they in fact cooperating to cover up the truth? Other conduct in the Italian probe is even more curious.
The Italian probe gets even more curious. The BJP spokesperson Mr. Prakash Javedekar has quoted from the Italian charge sheet on the copter deal to state:
Could there be any connection between Haschke’s undisclosed individual and the unnamed ‘Family’ in the charge sheet? The identity of the ‘Family’ and the undisclosed individual whose reference it was claimed would magically open all official doors in India holds the key to the truth behind the copter scam.
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Prathiba the Great
02/21/2013 09:33 AM
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