Italian defence boss resigns over India bribe scandal
Published on Feb 15, 2013 9:43 PM
ROME (AFP) - The head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, resigned on Friday in a bribery scandal over the sale of helicopters to India as investigators questioned him in prison.
Orsi, who was arrested on Tuesday over alleged bribes paid to secure the sale of 12 choppers, also stepped down as a member of the board and presented his resignation letter to judge Luca Labianca, who heard his testimony behind bars.
His lawyer said the resignation was aimed at "calming the climate created by the probe" into Orsi and the former head of its helicopter division Agusta Westland, Bruno Spagnolini, who is also due to be interrogated.
"I never knew anything about illicit operations," Orsi said according to his lawyer, adding that he had never met members of the "Tyagi family" - the alleged recipients of the bribes according to leaks in Italian media.
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