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India cancels scandal-hit AgustaWestland chopper deal

Published on Jan 4, 2014 1:27 AM
An AgustaWestland helicopter flies through a gap in the clouds during a flying display at the third day at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, southern England. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India has cancelled a US$770 million (S$974 million) helicopter deal with British-Italian company AgustaWestland after accusations it bribed officials, a top defence ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said he did not believe AgustaWestland's denial that it paid bribes to swing the deal for the purchase of 12 helicopters for top politicians.

AgustaWestland, a division of Italian defence group Finmeccanica, denies any wrongdoing. A spokesman for India's defence ministry was not immediately available for comment.