MILAN, March 22 Italian prosecutors have asked
for the extradition of a Swiss resident as part of a probe into
allegations of bribery in an Indian helicopter deal won by
Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland in 2010, Italian
judicial sources said on Friday.
Prosecutors allege Guido Ralph Haschke, 61, an Italian and
U.S. citizen who lives in Lugano, Switzerland, acted as an
intermediary for bribes they say were paid to Indian officials
to win a 560 million-euro ($724 million) contract for 12
Haschke's lawyer in Italy, Luca Lauri, told Reuters he was
surprised by the Italian extradition request, adding: "Haschke
has always said he is ready to clarify his role before all
The extradition request has been sent by prosecutors to
Italy's Justice Ministry, which must formally pass it on to
The investigation escalated in February when Italian police
arrested the then Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe
Orsi, who has since remained in jail.
Orsi, who was head of AgustaWestland in 2010, has denied any
wrongdoing and had not been charged.
Besides Orsi, Italian magistrates in February also ordered
the arrest of three other people including Haschke, who was a
consultant for the Finmeccanica group at the time of the Indian
Italian prosecutors said in the February arrest warrant that
AgustaWestland managers paid go-betweens to help twist rules in
the helicopter tender won AgustaWestland.
Haschke was briefly arrested by Swiss authorities last
October in connection with the Finmeccanica probe. He denied any
wrongdoing on his release.
($1 = 0.7737 euros)
(Reporting By Emilio Parodi, writing by Danilo Masoni; Editing
by Jon Boyle)