Judge approves consultant's plea deal in Finmeccanica bribery case - sources

BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:11pm IST

The headquarters of Italian defence and aerospace company Finmeccanica is seen in Rome May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

The headquarters of Italian defence and aerospace company Finmeccanica is seen in Rome May 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy (Reuters) - An Italian judge approved on Friday a plea bargain deal between prosecutors and a consultant accused of bribing Indian officials to help a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI) win a helicopter contract, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Under the deal - which was reached last week but needed to be ratified by a judge - Guido Ralph Haschke was sentenced for international corruption to serve a year and 10 months under home detention or performing community service, the sources said.

This is the first sentence handed down in the scandal that has harmed state-owned defence group Finmeccanica and its helicopter unit AgustaWestland. Prosecutors said AgustaWestland paid about 50 million euros in bribes to win the 560 million euro Indian contract in 2010.

Under Italian law, entering a plea bargain does not amount to an admission of guilt. Haschke, 62, who could not be reached for comment on Friday, has never publicly admitted the bribery accusations.

Former Finmeccanica Chairman and CEO Giuseppe Orsi and the former head of AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini, are on trial in the case after being charged with international corruption and falsifying invoices.

Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, Orsi and Spagnolini deny any wrongdoing. They have said the consultancy deals related to engineering services which have all been documented and that no payment ended up in the pockets of Indian officials.

For Haschke, a Swiss-resident Italian and U.S. national, the plea bargain means he gets a lighter sentence than if he were convicted on the same charges in a trial. The prosecutor avoids a lengthy trial process that, in Italy, involves two appeals.

The sources said Judge Alessandro Chionna in the Tribunal of Busto Arsizio would give Haschke, who owns a management and business strategy consulting business, the reasons for the sentence in around 15 days.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Writing by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Pravin Char)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Healthcare Corruption

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Short of Expectations

Short of Expectations

Apple revenue lags Street's view despite strong China growth  Full Article 

Mircosoft Results

Mircosoft Results

Microsoft revenue rises, profit falls as Nokia absorbed  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Exclusive - Lupin, U.S. firms weigh bids for GSK's mature drugs: sources  Full Article 

Relief For Sahara

Relief For Sahara

Supreme Court could allow Sahara boss to conduct asset sale talks, company says.  Full Article 

Classifying Banks

Classifying Banks

RBI to start announcing too-big-to-fail banks in Aug 2015  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

Starbucks, Burger King dragged in as China food scandal spreads.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage