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Updated: June 18, 2013 08:17 IST

Chopper scam: Trial against Orsi to begin tomorrow

Vaiju Naravane
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File photo of former CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi.
AP File photo of former CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi.

Giuseppe Orsi, the former Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica who left the district prison of Busto Arsizio near Milan on May 5, is preparing to give battle during his corruption trial that begins on June 19, the Turin newspaper La Stampa reported on Tuesday. Mr. Orsi was arrested on charges of international corruption, bribery and billing fraud over the sale of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to India.

Mr. Orsi who was arrested on February 12, 2013 had spent nearly three months in prison. Mr. Orsi’s lawyer, Ennio Amodio, told reporters that his client’s incarceration “has meant immense suffering. But he was kept afloat by the hundreds of messages of support and friendship that he received.”

His lawyer said: “Over 80 days of imprisonment imply immense suffering for the person who has been behind bars. But my client has taken comfort from the letters from friends and important business personalities who have expressed solidarity and complimented him on his management skills.”

Mr. Amodio also wondered whether it was “strictly necessary to hold Mr. Orsi in preventive detention for so long.” He also claimed that the judges have acknowledged that several major pieces of evidence had been lost. “The origins of the trial are far from noble, given that the principal accuser of Mr. Orsi is none other than Lorenzo Borgogni (the former chief of Finmeccanica’s external relations), a man whom Mr. Orsi had kept out of the company. It will be a lame trial because the main actors — Haschke and Gerosa (the Swiss nationals who allegedly set up the bribery and fake billing system) — as well as several Indians who participated in the process, will be missing,” Mr. Amodio said.

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