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Milan court quashes convictions in Indian AW101 case

A Milan court has overturned the bribery convictions of two former senior Finmeccanica executives in relation to the sale of VVIP helicopters to India.

Giuseppe Orsi, the former president of what was then Finmeccanica – since rebranded as Leonardo – and Bruno Spagnolini, who headed the company's AgustaWestland unit, were convicted in 2014 for false accounting following the €556 million ($664 million) acquisition of 12 AW101 helicopters by New Delhi.

The same court acquitted Orsi and Spagnolini of international corruption and bribery. However, a subsequent appeal by the prosecution led to that decision being reversed.

The pair received respective sentences of four years, six months and four years, for the corruption and bribery offences.

However, multiple appeals followed – with the 8 January judgement that there was insufficient evident for the convictions becoming the latest twist in the long-running case.

India's air force received three of the planned 12-strong AW101 fleet; the trio are currently in long-term storage, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

New Delhi's Central Bureau of Investigation is continuing its own probe into the scandal.

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