India threatens to blacklist Finmeccanica over AW101 scandal
By Rahul Bedi and New Delhi Additional reporting by Guy Anderson
India will blacklist Finmeccanica and cancel the March 2010 EUR570 million (USD764 million) deal for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters if allegations of bribery are proven against the Italian vendor, Defence Minister A K Antony said in New Delhi on 13 February.
"If anybody is guilty, they will have to pay the price. We will have to take action; no one will be spared," Antony told reporters. "If a company violates the [sale] conditions they are liable for criminal action," he said, adding that blacklisting was also an option.
Antony ordered India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the purchase of the AW101s for the Indian government's VIP requirement after Italian police arrested Finmeccanica CEO and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini on 12 February for allegedly paying out bribes to secure the contract.
He also criticised the Italian government for not responding to India's previous requests for details on investigations into Finmeccanica's business practices. "From day one, we have been trying to find out the truth and we conveyed that to them [the Italians]," Antony said. "So far we have not received any details."185 of 538 words
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