Delhi contacts missions over Letters Rogatory

AgustaWestland scam

New Delhi, May 5: The Ministry of Exterl Affairs has written to the Indian missions in those countries to which letters rogatory (LRs) have been sent in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper scam.

"I can confirm that we have received a communication in this regard from the CBI seeking an update on the execution reports of the letters rogatory that were sent earlier to eight countries," Exterl Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here on Thursday.

LR is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance and taking evidence.

"We have once again written to our missions in the countries concerned from where the execution reports are pending in order to impress upon them the need to expeditiously execute the LRs and to send the corresponding execution reports at the earliest," Swarup said.

The CBI sent LRs to seven countries -- the UAE, Britain, Singapore, Switzerland, Mauritius, Tunisia and Italy -- as well as the British Virgin Islands, seeking information regarding the alleged kickbacks.

Sources said that Italy was the only country to reply to the LR. "The British Virgin Islands, Tunisia and the UK only gave partial replies. The remaining countries are yet to give any reply," the sources said.

The CBI has been probing the case since March 2013 after filing an FIR against former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi and 13 others, including his cousins and European middlemen. The chopper deal resurfaced after an Italian court last month referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh among others in connection with the chopper deal.

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