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:

Surprise Rate Cut

Reuters Showcase

Eicher Share Sale

Eicher Share Sale

Truck maker Volvo sells shares in Eicher Motors  Full Article 

Services Growth

Services Growth

Services growth at eight-month high in Feb - HSBC PMI  Full Article 

StanChart Results

StanChart Results

StanChart rules out share sale as profit plunges 25 pct  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

Bonds at 20-month highs, rupee gains after surprise rate cut  Full Article 

Jim O’Neill Interview

Jim O’Neill Interview

'India can become world’s fifth-largest economy by decade’s end'  Full Article 

Coal Imports

Coal Imports

India coal imports in Feb jump from year ago, but drop m/m  Full Article 

China Services

China Services

China Feb HSBC services PMI edges up to 52.0 as orders improve  Full Article 

Next Superhero

Next Superhero

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Budget announcements and reactions from the industry  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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