No evidence of illicit payments in Finmeccanica CEO probe: lawyer

BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:26am EST

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BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy (Reuters) - A corruption probe that led to the arrest of Italian defense group Finmeccanica's (SIFI.MI) head Giuseppe Orsi on Tuesday has produced no evidence of any illicit payments, Orsi's lawyer said.

Lawyer Ennio Amodio told reporters his client was stunned by the arrest. "He cannot figure out what he can be accused of, he did not pocket a single euro and did not distribute any money," Amodio said.

Orsi was arrested on Tuesday over bribes allegedly paid to secure the sale of 12 helicopters to India, when he was head of the group's AgustaWestland unit.

Amodio called the arrest of Orsi and of three other people, including AgustaWestland chief Bruno Spagnolini, a "devastating measure that decapitates two big Italian companies."

Shares in Finmeccanica, Italy's second-biggest corporate employer after Fiat FIA.MI, were down 5.3 percent at 9:20 a.m. ET.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi, writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)

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