Chopper case: ED moves Delhi court seeking bail cancellation of Rajiv Saxena

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday moved a Delhi court seeking bail cancellation of Rajeev Saxena, a middleman-turned-approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, for allegedly not cooperating in the probe.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to Saxena and put up the matter for hearing on July 18.

The court had earlier allowed Saxena to turn approver and his plea for grant of pardon on the condition that he will fully disclose all information in the case.

Saxena, director at two Dubai-based firms — UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam.

Chopper case: Delhi court directs Saxena to record statement before magistrate on Mar 2

A Delhi court Thursday directed Rajeev Saxena, who had moved a plea to become an approver in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money-laundering case, to record his statement before a magistrate court.

Special judge Arvind Kumar marked Saxena’s plea before the court of the CMM on March 2 for recording of his disclosure statement (disclose intentions for becoming an approver), after he told the court that he had no intention not to cooperate and that it was logical at this stage to complete his testimony in a fair way.

The judge asked him, “Are you aware that you may not be absolved of punishment by becoming an approver?”. To this Saxena replied in the affirmative.

“I have thought long and hard and I am confident that my exposure to the case is minimal… I have no intention not to cooperate. At this stage it is logical to complete my testimony in a fair way,” he told the court.

He further asserted that he decided to be an approver on his own free will and with a complete understanding of the case and he was neither given any assurances nor has he taken any.

The ED was on Wednesday asked by the court to file its response by today but Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh argued that the agency will file its reply after Saxena’s disclosure statement was recorded before a different court.

Saxena had moved an application to be an approver in the case, saying it was “out of free will” and “without any coercion” and prayed that he “will make a full disclosure subject to the grant of pardon”.

“The applicant humbly prays, without prejudice to his defence, that he may be granted pardon approver under Section 306 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 subject to the condition that he will make a full disclosure, to the extent, the facts are within his knowledge of which he will make a true and proper disclosure subject to the grant of pardon,” his application had said.

Saxena had said that he has cooperated with the investigation throughout and has made known entire facts regarding the case.

“The applicant cooperated with the investigation during the entire period of remand before the Directorate of Enforcement.

“The applicant has made a clean breast of the entire facts as known to the applicant with regard to the complaint pertaining to the AgustaWestland helicopters filed by the Directorate of Enforcement to the extent known to him,” the application had said.

Saxena was earlier granted bail by the court on medical grounds after perusing reports submitted by AIIMS.

The court had said that it was clear from the medical record submitted by AIIMS that Saxena was suffering from a number of serious ailments including blood cancer and needs constant medical checkups.

Saxena, who is in custody since January 31 after his deportation from Dubai, said in his bail plea that when all the other accused in the case, including Gautam Khaitan, Ritu Khaitan and S P Tyagi were out on bail, there could be “no justification” to deny him the same relief.

Saxena, a director of two Dubai-based firms – UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings – is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by ED in the AgustaWestland case.

Christian Michel, former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and Saxena’s wife Shivani have also been named by the agency in the chargesheet.

The ED had alleged that in connivance with Khaitan, Saxena provided a global corporate structure for laundering illegal proceeds of the crime for payment to various political persons, bureaucrats and Air Force officials to influence the contract to supply 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.

Saxena was residing in Palm Jumeriah, Dubai and has been living in the UAE for last 26 years.

Maintaining that AgustaWestland had paid Euro 58 million as kickbacks through two Tunisia-based firms, the ED has alleged that “these companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others”.

It was alleged by the probe agency that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities “through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/ shares, among others” in this case.

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.

Retired Air Marshal J S Gujral granted bail in chopper case

Retired Air Marshal J S Gujral granted bail in chopper case
Retired Air Marshal J S Gujral granted bail in chopper case

Retired Air Marshal J S Gujral was today granted bail by a Delhi court in the VVIP chopper scam case filed against him, former IAF Chief S P Tyagi and others.

Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Gujral on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and a surety of the same amount when he appeared before the court after a summons was issued to him.

Tyagi, who was earlier granted bail in the case along with others, also appeared before the court following summons issued in September.

The court directed the probe agencies to hand over the chargesheet and other documents filed along with it to the accused and posted the matter for a hearing on May 30.

The court had issued summons to Gujral, Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie and advocate Gautam Khaitan on September 19.

Advocate P K Dubey moved an application on behalf of Khaitan seeking permission to go abroad next month.

The court will consider the application on December 22.

The CBI had on September 1 chargesheeted former IAF Chief S P Tyagi in a Delhi Court along with Gujral and eight others in connection with a bribery case in the Rs 3,500 crore- AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

The agency alleged there was an estimated loss of Euros 398.21 million (approximately Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010, for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euros 556.262 million.

They have been chargesheeted for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC in the case relating to alleged bribery of Rs 450 crore.

( Source – PTI )

Chopper case: Court extends custody of two accused till Jan 13

Chopper case: Court extends custody of two accused till Jan 13
Chopper case: Court extends custody of two accused till Jan 13

A Delhi court today extended by a fortnight the judicial custody of former IAF chief S P Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, co-accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand extended their 14- day custody which expired today, till January 13, after the CBI moved an application for the same in the case relating to procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based firm during the UPA-2 regime.

A court here on December 17 had sent both the accused to two weeks in Tihar Jail along with Tyagi, the former Air Chief, after the probe agency said they were not required for custodial interrogation.

While Tyagi was granted bail on December 26, the bail pleas of the other two will be heard on January 4.

Sanjeev and Gautam earlier spent a week in CBI custody after the agency had said it was a “very serious” case requiring interrogation to unearth larger conspiracy as “interest of the nation was compromised”.

The agency had then submitted in the court: “It is a very high-profile case and we need proper material. One part of the crime was committed in India while various other angles are in foreign land.”

CBI had alleged that Tyagi had “abused his official position”. When he was the air chief, he had made huge investments in land and other properties and not disclosed the source of his income.

It was also alleged that Khaitan was the “brain” behind how the bribe money had reached India and how several firms through which the money had travelled came into existence.

Sanjeev was known to alleged European middleman Carlo Gerosa, CBI had claimed.

71-year old Tyagi, Sanjeev and Khaitan were arrested on December 9 by the agency in connection with the case.

The CBI had also claimed that alleged European middleman Guido Haschke’s statement, which was received through a Letter Rogatory, proved that he was assured by Sanjeev that the latter’s brother was going to be IAF chief.

The accused persons, however, had alleged that the “CBI was trying to extract the confession using force”.

( Source – PTI )

Chopper case:Ex-IAF Chief, 2 others sent to jail till Dec 30

Chopper case:Ex-IAF Chief, 2 others sent to jail till Dec 30
Chopper case:Ex-IAF Chief, 2 others sent to jail till Dec 30

Former Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi was today sent to judicial custody till December 30 after CBI said he was not required for further custodial interrogation in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Special CBI judge Arvind Kumar also sent Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, co-accused in the case related to procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based firm during the UPA-2 regime, to jail after the probe agency did not seek their further custody.

After the agency’s submission, all the three accused moved their bail applications, which will be heard on December 21 as the CBI sought time to reply to the applications.

During the proceedings, the counsel appearing for Tyagi submitted before the court that the Italian top court had ordered retrial of ex-Finmeccanica executives in VVIP chopper scam case, which makes CBI’s stand weak in the current case.

The court, however, said it will take up the matter on next date of hearing on December 21.

The court had on December 14 extended the CBI remand of Tyagi and the two others by three days after CBI had said it was a “very serious” case requiring interrogation to unearth larger conspiracy as “interest of the nation was compromised”.

The agency had earlier submitted in the court:

“It is a very high-profile case and we need proper material. One part of the crime was committed in India while various other angles are in foreign land.”

Tyagi’s counsel had told the court that he was “a decorated war hero of the nation” and “CBI, which was termed as ‘a caged parrot’ by the Supreme Court, is trying to tarnish his image”.

Earlier, Tyagi’s counsel had claimed that the decision to procure VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland was a “collective” one and Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) was also a part of it.

CBI had alleged that Tyagi had “abused his official position” and when he was the Air Chief Marshal, he had made huge investments in land and other properties and had not disclosed the source his income.

It was also alleged that Khaitan was the “brain” behind how the bribe money reached India and several firms through which the money travelled came into existence and Sanjeev was known to alleged European middleman Carlo Gerosa.

71-year old Tyagi, who had retired in 2007, his cousin Sanjeev and Khaitan were arrested on December 9 by the agency in connection with the case.

The CBI had also claimed that alleged European middleman Guido Haschke’s statement, which was received through LR (Letter Rogatory), proved that he was assured by Sanjeev Tyagi that the latter’s brother was going to be Air Chief Marshal.

The accused persons, however, had alleged that the “CBI was trying to extract the confession using force”.

( Source – PTI )

Chopper case: SC to hear plea against Sonia,Manmohan next week

Chopper case: SC to hear plea against Sonia,Manmohan next week
Chopper case: SC to hear plea against Sonia,Manmohan next week

The Supreme Court today said it will hear next week a PIL seeking registration of an FIR against political leaders, including Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in connection with AgustaWestland Chopper case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit ordered listing of the PIL when advocate M L Sharma said that it is an urgent matter which should be heard at the earliest.

CBI had in 2013 registered a case in connection with alleged bribes paid by the firm to Indians to clinch the deal for 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs including the President and Prime Minister.

An Italian court has reportedly cited handwritten references to Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Air Chief S P Tyagi by a middleman in a judgement that convicted the helicopter company’s chief executive.

( Source – PTI )