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"Nothing to hide" in helicopter deal, India's prime minister says

By Frank Jack Daniel NEW DELHI, Feb 18 (Reuters) - India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday the government had nothing to hide in a $750 million deal for AgustaWestland helicopters that has been suspended by the Defence Ministry over allegations of kickbacks. The ministry has asked AgustaWestland, owned by Italy's Finmeccanica, to show by Friday that no bribes were paid in the deal and says it is ready to cancel the purchase outright. The helicopter company says it will comply with the request.

Italy helicopter company in bribe probe says it is clean

AgustaWestland, a unit of Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica, said Saturday that it was complying with India's request for clarifications over a bribery scandal and had fully respected the law. "AgustaWestland is confident that the full compliance with the relevant laws as well as the good conduct of its past and present senior executives and managers will be demonstrated as soon as practicable," it said in a note.

India says to cancel scandal-plagued Italian helicopter deal

India on Friday said it had taken steps to cancel a contract for 12 Italian helicopters amid allegations the deal was won through kickbacks as the head of the suspected defence company stepped down. The Indian ministry of defence said in a statement it had "initiated action for cancellation" of the $748 million contract for the helicopters from AgustaWestland, a unit of Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica, intended for use by top politicians.

India says to cancel scandal-plagued Italian helicopter deal

India on Friday said it had taken steps to cancel a contract for 12 Italian helicopters amid allegations the deal was won through kickbacks as the head of the suspected defence company stepped down. The Indian ministry of defence said in a statement it had "initiated action for cancellation" of the $748 million contract for the helicopters from AgustaWestland, a unit of Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica, intended for use by top politicians.

India says to cancel scandal-plagued Italian helicopter deal

India on Friday said it had taken steps to cancel a $748 million contract for 12 Italian helicopters amid allegations that the deal was won through kickbacks. The ministry of defence said in a statement it had "initiated action for cancellation" of the contract for 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland, a unit of Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica, intended for use by top politicians. The ministry issued a "show-cause" notice to Finmeccanica -- a legal step asking the company to justify why the contract should not be cancelled.

UPDATE 2-India says seeks to cancel Finmeccanica helicopter deal

* India steps up action against Italian company in bribery case * Ahead of Cameron visit, asks London for answers * Indian police team will travel to Italy to investigate By Manoj Kumar and Frank Jack Daniel NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (Reuters) - India is seeking to cancel a $750 million order for a dozen helicopters from Italian defence group Finmeccanica, the defence ministry said on Friday, responding to growing pressure over kickback allegations.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Italian defence boss resigns over India bribery scandal

The chief executive of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, caught up in an international bribes scandal, formally resigned on Friday, according to Ansa news agency. Orsi, who was arrested on Tuesday in a bribery scandal over the sale of 12 helicopters to India, also stepped down as chairman, Ansa quoted his lawyer as saying. ljm/ide/arp

WRAPUP 1-Finmeccanica appoints CEO after India suspends deal

* Finmeccanica promotes Pansa to CEO after head arrested * India puts helicopter deal on hold over bribery case * Berlusconi says prosecutor harming Italian economy By Paolo Biondi and Manoj Kumar ROME/NEW DELHI, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Italy's Finmeccanica promoted company insider Alessandro Pansa to run the defence group as CEO after the arrest of its head for alleged bribery led India to suspend a $750-million deal to buy helicopters.

Finmeccanica chopper deal to be scrapped if charges proven: India

NEW DELHI, Feb 13 (Reuters) - India will blacklist Finmeccanica Spa and cancel its deal to buy 12 helicopters from the Italian defence group if allegations of bribery are proven against the company, Defence Ministry A.K. Antony said on Wednesday. Antony said India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had been ordered to investigate the matter and if the allegations were proven, those involved would "pay for their lapses. Nobody will be spared."

UPDATE 6-Finmeccanica head arrested over India bribe allegations

* Head of Italian defence group arrested * Italy faces series of corruption scandals before poll * Orsi's lawyer says no evidence to back bribe claims * Government says working to ensure management continuity * Company calls board meeting for Wednesday By Emilio Parodi and Danilo Masoni
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