AugustaWestland: Italy’s top court orders retrial of Ex-Finmeccanica CEO in VVIP Chopper Deal
Italy�s highest court on Friday ordered a retrial of former top executives at defence group Leonardo Finmeccanica over allegations of bribery in a 2010 contract to provide a dozen helicopters to the Indian government.
Italy’s highest court on Friday ordered a retrial of former top executives at defence group Leonardo Finmeccanica over allegations of bribery in a 2010 contract to provide a dozen helicopters to the Indian government.
The court has suspended a sentence handed earlier this year to Ex-Finmeccanica CEO, Giuseppe Orsi, for false accounting and corruption in connection with the VVIP chopper deal.
In April a Milan appeals court had sentenced Giuseppe Orsi to four and a half years in prison for corruption and falsifying invoices, overturning a previous lower court ruling.
Bruno Spagnolini, former head of the group's helicopter unit AgustaWestland, was sentenced to four years in jail over the $585 million contract.
The case went to the highest court after the two executives launched an appeal. Both executives will now have to be tried again in front of Milan's appeals court.
The latest order of retrial came after both the defence and the prosecution had requested a suspension, on grounds that the Milan appeals court's sentence in April differed too greatly from an earlier ruling.
Italian media believe that the case will be closed when the statute of limitation expires in March 2017. The case against Orsi and Spagnolini resulted from an investigation launched in 2012 into the sale of 12 luxury helicopters to the Indian government. Orsi was arrested in 2014 and resigned as chief executive of the aerospace group a short while later.
India cancelled the deal with AgustaWestland in January 2014 amid allegations that the company paid bribes to win the $753 million contract.