Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi has denied knowing the family of Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi in the ongoing investigations in Italy into the alleged payment of kickbacks for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to India.

Mr. Orsi was arrested earlier this week by the Italian investigators in connection with the Rs. 3,600 crore deal.

Appearing before an Italian magistrate there, Mr. Orsi said “three Nos” to queries about any mandate to the Swiss-American Guido Hashcke for “any type of manoeuvre” for the Indian operations, knowing the Tyagi family and about adopting “illegal manoeuvres” for the deal, Mr. Orsi’s lawyer Ennio Amodio was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.

Mr. Haschke has been alleged to be one of the middlemen acting on behalf of Mr. Orsi for swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

Mr. Amodio said Mr. Haschke’s statement about Mr. Orsi’s role in the deal “may have been inspired by someone” as he has “radically changed compared to the initial version”.

Mr. Orsi’s lawyer also denied that his client had in any way tried to pressurise the Italian court looking into the matter and getting the prosecutor changed.

Mr. Orsi on Friday resigned as the Chairman and Director of the Company.

India has already initiated steps to cancel the helicopter deal and issued a show cause notice to it saying why the deal should not be cancelled in view of the recent developments in the case.

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