Indian investigators to visit Italy to probe alleged bribes in Finmeccanica helicopter deal

NEW DELHI – Two Indian federal investigators will travel to Italy this week to meet with prosecutors probing allegations that the Italian company Finmeccanica paid bribes to obtain a 560 million euro ($750 million) deal to sell 12 helicopters to India.

Dharini Mishra, a spokeswoman for India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, said Sunday that a senior investigating officer and a law officer would travel to Italy, but she declined to give other details. Indian media reports said the CBI team would leave for Italy on Monday.

India’s Defence Ministry this past week asked the CBI, India’s equivalent of the United States’ FBI, to investigate the deal after Finmeccanica’s chief executive was arrested in Milan on charges he paid bribes to obtain the contract.