Former Indian Air Force Chief and prime accused in the VVIP chopper scam SP Tyagi (pictured above) met senior officials of Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, reported The Indian Express. AugustaWestland, a helicopter manufacturer, allegedly paid bribes to Indian government officials to bag the contract for a new fleet of IAF choppers.

Tyagi had earlier denied meeting any officials from the company. However, during his interrogation with the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday, he admitted to meeting Chief Operating Officer of Finmeccanica, Georgio Zapa, in Delhi on February 15, 2005. He took charge as the Chief of Air Staff of the IAF on December 31, 2004. The CBI has the visitor’s register that proves the meeting took place. The former IAF chief was quizzed for 10 hours on Monday, and the questioning resumed on Tuesday. He was questioned in the case earlier as well, but he had refuted all the allegations then.

The Rs 3600-crore scam resurfaced recently, after an Italian court recently observed that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government refused to share crucial documents with investigators and displayed "substantial disregard" in arriving at the full truth in the case. The order said Tyagi allegedly brought down the flying ceiling of the choppers – the maximum height at which a helicopter can function normally – from 6,000m to 4,500m so AgustaWestland could be included in the bids, without which its helicopters were not qualified to submit tenders. His cousins and the middlemen helped him in the process, the order said.

The UPA had signed an agreement with AgustaWestland to buy 12 helicopters to transport VVIPs. However, the deal fell through following reports in Italy that the company had bribed Indian officials to get the deal. The CBI began its investigations into the case in 2013.