Finmeccanica claims compliance with law in $750 million helicopter deal with India

NEW DELHI – Italian company Finmeccanica says it complied with the law in its $750 million contract to sell helicopters to India amid allegations that bribes were paid to obtain it.

India said Friday it has put the contract to purchase the 12 helicopters on hold and sent a notice to Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland helicopter division seeking cancellation of the agreement. The company was given a week to respond.

AgustaWestland said Saturday it would reply within a week. It said it was “confident” it would demonstrate “full compliance” with the law.

India launched an investigation into the deal after Finmeccanica’s chief was arrested in Milan on Tuesday on charges he paid bribes to obtain the contract.

India signed the contract with AgustaWestland in February 2010. Three of the helicopters were delivered in December.