Defence minister says India punish anyone guilty of taking bribes in Italian copter deal

The Associated Press
February 13, 2013

NEW DELHI - India's defence minister says the government will punish any official found guilty of taking bribes from Finmeccanica to steer a multi-million dollar helicopter contract to the Italian defence firm.

A.K. Antony told reporters Wednesday that the government would blacklist and take legal action against any company found to have paid a bribe in the $709 million deal for 12 helicopters intended for ferrying Indian officials around the country.

India's defence ministry has ordered a separate investigation into the defence agreement with Finmeccanica after the Italian company's chief executive was arrested in Milan on Tuesday on charges he had paid bribes to snag the Indian contract.