British anti-arms trade activists recently scored a victory against Italian merchants of death corporation Finmeccanica. They managed to drive that firm out of the National Gallery in London, which Finmeccanica abused for selling weapons to Middle East dictatorships and others.
Finmeccanica is linked to the business empire of Silvio Berlusconi.
This video, from television in India, says about itself:
Italian CEO arrested in chopper scam
Feb 12, 2013
Another scam has hit the defence deals in India. Now, the VIP chopper deal of 14 helicopters purchased from Italy’s biggest firm Finmeccanica has come under the scanner. The chief executive of the firm Giuseppe Orsi has been arrested on corruption charges.
Today, from the BBC:
12 February 2013 Last updated at 11:38 GMT
Finmeccanica’s Giuseppe Orsi held on corruption charges
Finmeccanica is Italy‘s biggest aerospace and defence group
The chief executive of Italian aerospace and defence firm Finmeccanica has been arrested on corruption charges.
Giuseppe Orsi has been under investigation for bribery and embezzlement for several months. He has always denied any wrongdoing.
Prosecutors allege he paid bribes to ensure the sale of 12 helicopters to the Indian government.
Finmeccanica shares slumped in Milan after initially being suspended.
They fell more than 9% to 4.236 euros.
In a statement, Finmeccanica expressed solidarity with Mr Orsi and said: “Finmeccanica confirms that management activity and the initiatives it has undertaken are continuing in an orderly fashion.”
Italy‘s Prime Minister, Mario Monti, said in an interview with Italian television: “Magistrates will do their work. I’m sure they will do it thoroughly and in the best way possible.”
He added: “There is a problem with the governance of Finmeccanica at the moment and we will face up to it.”
Maybe pro-capitalist Monti was so relatively critical of Finmeccanica capitalists because of the Finmeccanica-Berlusconi connection. Berlusconi is now Monti’s rival in the elections.
Arrest warrants have been issued for two people living in Switzerland. The head of Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland business, Bruno Spagnolini, was also placed under house arrest.
India’s foreign ministry said it had not been informed of the raid.
“We had asked the government of Italy through our mission in Rome for details of the investigation, but were told that it is a judicial process and the government of Italy is unable to share any information,” said foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.
An Indian defence ministry spokesman was later quoted by the AFP news agency as saying the country had now ordered its own investigation.
Mr Orsi was in the process of overhauling Finmeccanica to try to make the company profitable again. The Italian government owns about 30% of the company.
India’s Defence Ministry said today that it has put a €560 million (£483m) contract to purchase helicopters from Italian company Finmeccanica on hold amid allegations that bribes were paid to obtain it: here.
- UPDATE 2-Finmeccanica head arrested over India bribe allegations (uk.reuters.com)
- Italy defence firm CEO held on graft charge (thehindu.com)
- Finmeccanica head arrested over India bribe allegations (rediff.com)
- Finmeccanica CEO arrested over India bribe allegations (theglobeandmail.com)
- Finmeccanica chief arrested for India bribes (fcpablog.com)
- Finmeccanica Chief Orsi Said to Be Held in Bribery Probe (bloomberg.com)
- Extradition of Swiss middleman could be delayed (thehindu.com)
- Uncertainty over delivery of 9 AgustaWestland choppers (thehindu.com)
- Chopper deal: CBI planning to seek Italian help in probe (dnaindia.com)
- Helicopter Corruption: CBI receives almost ‘all documents’ from Italy (indianmilitarynews.wordpress.com)