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NEW DELHI:  Former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi was arrested today over alleged irregularities in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal worth 3,700 crores. He was arrested along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan after hours of questioning. The former air chief has been accused of abusing his official position by corrupt means. This is the first high-profile arrest made by acting CBI chief Rakesh Asthana, who is in the headlines because of a row between the government and the opposition over his appointment a week ago. Mr Asthana was given charge of the chopper deal investigation earlier this year.
Here are the 10 latest developments on this story:
The former air chief has been repeatedly questioned on the deal with UK-based helicopter maker AgustaWestland, in which kickbacks were allegedly paid to Indian officials and politicians to influence the contract for a dozen VVIP choppers for the President, Prime Minister and other top leaders of the country.
Retired Air Marshal Tyagi is accused by investigators in Italy and India of helping AgustaWestland win the chopper contract by tailoring specifications at the instance of his cousins.
Investigations have revealed that the Tyagis entered into a consultancy deal with middlemen in 2004, when Air Marshal Tyagi's cousins were certain that he would be the next air force chief and in a position to influence the deal.
The CBI had earlier registered a case against the former air chief and 18 others including his cousins and the European middlemen.
Investigators say there is evidence that Air Mashal Tyagi met with a top official of Agusta's parent company Finmeccanica when he was Air Chief.
The specific allegation against the former air chief is that he reduced the required flying height for VVIP choppers from 6,000 m to 4,500 m, which helped AgustaWestland qualify.
The former air chief has said that the change of specifications was a collective decision involving many departments concerned.
The CBI says payments were made through Tunisia-registered companies controlled by Switzerland-based intermediaries Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa and transferred to accounts in India and Mauritius.
SP Tyagi was Air Chief Marshall from 2004-2007 and allegedly paid by middlemen via his cousins, Julie, Sandeep and Dosca Tyagi.
Three helicopters had been delivered to India before the deal was stalled in February.
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