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2 former Finmeccanica executives cleared of corruption in India helicopter deal

MILAN – The CEO of Italian defence contractor Finmeccanica says he will reopen talks with India over a suspended helicopter contract after a court acquitted two former executives of corruption in the multi-million euro deal.

Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and former CEO of the AgustaWestland helicopter-making subsidiary Bruno Spagnolini were acquitted Thursday of international corruption charges alleging the defence giant had secured the 560 million-euro ($670 million) deal with bribes. They were convicted of false invoicing and sentenced to two years.

Finmeccanica CEO Mauro Moretti said he would reopen talks with India about the supply of 12 helicopters, noting the absence of any element of corruption.

India, which launched its own investigation, stopped the delivery of the remaining nine of the 12 AW1010 helicopters, citing an integrity clause.