Ex-Leonardo executives cleared from appearing in Indian court


An on-going legal battle has resurfaced concerning two of the company’s former executives.

The company’s former CEO Giuseppe Orsi and the former head of AgustaWestland Helicopters Bruno Spagnolini were caught up in an alleged corruption case that stems from a €560 million aircraft deal with the Italian government made in 2010.

In January, both men were cleared of the corruption charges by an Italian court. However, the Delhi High Court requested the former executives to appear as defendants earlier this month, the Italian High Administrative Court denied the request on Tuesday.

On-going battle

The case, first opened in 2012, concerns the 2010 helicopter contract that Leonardo signed with the Indian Government for the sale of 12 AW101 helicopters to the Indian Military. The contract was valued at around €560 million.

Both Mr Orsi and Mr Spagnolini were first arrested in 2013 under the suspicion of bribing Indian Air Force officials to secure the order. At the time, Mr Orsi was the chairman of Finmeccanica (now Leonardo) and Mr Spagnolini was the CEO of AgustaWestland (Guiseppi Orsi). Both men were later acquitted and charged with two-year sentences for false bookkeeping.

The decision was appealed in 2016 by a lower Italian Court. The ruling was presented to the Italian Supreme Court where it was barred, calling for further trials and investigation.