Judge Marco Maiga, the President of the Court of Appeals in Italy, who pronounced and signed the 225-page judgement in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, on Monday spoke exclusively to NewsX. Here are the excerpts:
NewsX: There are a lot of Indian politicians mentioned in the order? On what basis did you mention them in your order?
Judge Maiga: The objective of the judgement was the relationship between Mr Orsi, Mr Spanioli, Mr Agusta and Mr Shashi Tyagi. We had some traces of the presence of many other people. A manuscript was found in this investigation which has the initials of some person who has been identified as politicians or bureaucrats. But we have not individually verified their exact role in this case.
NewsX: Why did the judiciary not ask these Indian politicians to be present?
Judge Maiga: First of all they are Indians, so there is no obligation for them to be present. Secondly, the traces are not so clear or so heavy for me to ask them anything.
NewsX: Could you show to our viewers what the traces are that you are referring to?
Judge Maiga: There is a manuscript of businessman Mr Haschke which talks of his relationship with the Tyagi family (the 3 brothers). There is the budget of another businessman who has been charged with Agusta to follow this deal. This the budget of Mr Mitchell of the expenses he showed and is divided with some initials.
NewsX: Could you show us what these notes mean?
Judge Maiga: AF is for Air Force. BUR is Bureaucrats. The rest are initials of CAG, CVC etc. Then there are politicians (pol). Then there is AP. AP is the initials of Ahmed Patel. Then in the end, FAM – is the expansion of the Tyagi family.
NewsX: You mentioned AP being indicative of…
Judge Maiga: This is just a hypothesis, not a direct evidence. We have no direct evidence.
NewsX: Ok, so the hypothesis adopted by you is that AP is Ahmed Patel
Judge Maiga: No evidence. It is not our specific interest to indict him. He is not essential to our investigation but he is something that is around the principal story.
NewsX: There are some other Indian politicians whose names have come up. Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh. Why have those names appeared?
Judge Maiga: We have no evidence against Sonia Gandhi. Only a mention of her in a fax…. the translation of the fax was sent to Mr Michel. Ms Gandhi has been indicated as someone who will fly in the VVIP helicopters. The same place is the mention of Mr Manmohan Singh. This manuscript was found in the jail of Mr Orsi. He wrote this slip of paper with the names of Italian Prime Minister Monti, the ambassador, as ‘contacts’.