Tyagi’s role in the deal has come under renewed focus after the Milan Court of Appeals — the equivalent of an Indian High Court — gave details of how alleged bribes were paid by helicopter-maker Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland to Indian officials through middlemen to clinch the deal.
Additionally, the ToI report said, the investigating agencies found that Tyagi was in Milan, Italy, in 2012, allegedly to meet two European middlemen — Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. Tyagi's visits to Italy, twice after his retirement, are also under the scanner of the CBI.
Tyagi's visit, the report says, came even as Italian authorities were probing the alleged irregularities.
Only months after the government announced that Tyagi would be the next IAF chief, in January 2005, Haschke and Gerosa met him again.
According to agency reports, Tyagi met the two middlemen the next month during an air show in Bengaluru and in 2006, right after becoming IAF chief, Tyagi met them again, this time at a cousin's office and home in Delhi.
According to the reports, it was during his meetings with these middlemen that Tyagi changed the specifications of the prospective VVIP chopper.
According to the ToI report, during his 2012 Milan trip, Tyagi was "really agitated" about the probe being conducted by Italian authorities into the matter.
Citing documents shared with India by Italy, the report says that Tyagi, referred to as "Giuli", was in Haschke and Gerosa's company at the Milan-Malpensa airport on March 25, 2012.
Additionally, the report cites a recorded conversation – sent to Indian authorities – as saying: "...On 25-03.2012, Haschke and Gerosa accompany Tyagi (aka Giuli) to the airport of Milan/Malpensa and on the return trip, they make a general summary. They agree that Giuli is agitated about the (Italian) investigation."
According to the report, investigators have said that "Giuli", which means a very gorgeous girl, was most likely a codename used by the middlemen for Tyagi.
Meanwhile, the political furore over the chopper scam refuses to quiet down, especially given the government's stated focus on bringing the guilty to justice.