- Title: ITALY: Indian police team expected in Italy to investigate Finmeccanica case
- Date: 18th February 2013
- Summary: EXTERIOR OF HEADQUARTERS PEOPLE WALKING PAST HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF FLAGS ON BUILDING EXTERIOR OF HEADQUARTERS / ELECTORAL POSTERS OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS ELECTORAL POSTERS OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS
- Embargoed: 5th March 2013 12:00
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Crime,International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAY2ZKKEFM9ETANDEDA55IO2BI
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A police team and a defence ministry official from India are expected to arrive in Italy this week as the country steps up action against the Italian defence group Finmeccanica in a bribery case.
India is seeking to cancel a 750 million dollar order for a dozen helicopters from Finmeccanica, the Indian defence ministry said on Friday (February 15), responding to growing pressure over kickback allegations.
India has frozen payments for helicopters from AgustaWestland, owned by Italy's Finmeccanica, pending an inquiry after Italian police last week arrested the head of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, in connection with the case.
India has already taken delivery of three of the helicopters.
In recent years, India has emerged as the world's largest weapons importer, but procurements are periodically held up by allegations of corruption.
Finmeccanica could be blacklisted in India for at least five years if investigators prove bribery.
Orsi, who has denied any wrongdoing, resigned on Friday as head of the partially state-owned Finmeccanica, which employs more Italians than any other firm bar carmaker Fiat.
The Italian investigation has been going on for months and India launched its own police inquiry after Orsi's arrest.
Indian officials have complained that the Italian investigators were not sharing any details of the case.
Orsi faces allegations of paying bribes to win the contract for AgustaWestland to supply the helicopters, for use by senior Indian politicians.
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