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Copter scam: I'm innocent, says former Air Force chief news
13 February 2013

Defence minister A K Antony today said he was unaware of allegations of corruption made against former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi by Italian prosecutors related to the 560 million sale of helicopters to New Delhi in 2010 by Italian defence contractor Finmeccanica SpA.

"I have no information with me," Antony said at a news conference in New Delhi.

Air Chief Marshal Tyagi also denied wrongdoing on his part in the helicopter sale.

"I am innocent. These allegations are totally baseless and I am denying them categorically. The deal was signed in 2010 whereas I retired in 2007," Tyagi said.

Italian public prosecutors allege that Finmeccanica group executives paid bribes totalling 51 million to a number of people, including Indian government officials, to facilitate the helicopter deal.

Investigators in that country on Tuesday alleged that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed Tyagi when he was chief of the Indian Air Force to swing the controversial deal under which 12 AgustaWestland helicopters were purchased for ferrying VVIPs. Three of these have been received by India.

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Copter scam: I'm innocent, says former Air Force chief