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Chopper scam: Italian court declines Indian request for information news
16 February 2013

India is unlikely to get to the bottom of the copter scam despite its belated efforts, as an Italian judge has ruled that information relating to the case against defence contractor Finmeccanica in that county is covered by secrecy laws.

The Indian embassy in Rome was today informed that "Only parties and their lawyers were allowed to have access to the information and documents."

India's defence ministry has issued a show cause notice to helicopter maker AgustaWestland seeking cancellation of the contract and taking other actions under the terms of the contract.

A joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the defence ministry is expected to leave for Italy on Sunday to further delve into the matter.

This knee-jerk reaction is however unlikely to be of much help. In the letter received by the Indian embassy, the Italian judge said, "The investigations are, in fact, at a preliminary stage, during which, as per Article 329 of Code of Penal Procedure, all information is covered by secrecy. Only parties and their lawyers are allowed to have access to the information and documents."

The judge told the Indian embassy that his office will consider a "fresh request" from the Indian side if the secrecy obligations in the matter can be put aside.





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Chopper scam: Italian court declines Indian request for information