Italy’s supreme court has ordered a retrial for Giuseppe Orsi, the first sort CEO at Leonardo-Finmeccanica, who was simply sentenced to four and a half years in April for his alleged role in helicopter contract kickbacks in India.
The decision means the supreme court found procedural errors inside the April conviction, and contains effectively voided that verdict, requesting a fresh trial come about.
The charges in connection with a 560 million euro deal to trade 12 AW101 helicopters to India this season, when Orsi was head of Agusta Westland, then a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica, that’s now called Leonardo-Finmeccanica.
The twists and turns of Orsi’s legal odyssey subsequently are symptomatic of Italy’s lengthy and quite often convoluted three stage justice system.
He was initially arrested in 2013, alongside Bruno Spagnolini, another former AgustaWestland head, on suspicion to pay bribes to the first kind Indian air force chief to buy the AW101. Following the arrests, India cancelled anything.
The two men went to trial, but annually later, an Italian court acquitted Orsi and Spagnolini of international corruption, handing them instead two year sentences to the lesser power over false book keeping.
Under Italian law, defendants can appeal guilty verdicts, but prosecutors may also appeal against acquittals. An appeal happened, where Orsi’s lawyers pushed to overturn the false book keeping sentence passed in the first trial, while prosecutors argued for that reinstatement in the corruption charges.
The appeal court took the magistrates’ side, handing Orsi four and half years and Spagnolini four years in April.
But now, the supreme court, that may order fresh appeal trials if it finds procedural fault on the appeal stage, did exactly that.
Italian media reported on Friday a second appeal trial may however be timed out by the statute of limitations in 2017, meaning the case would remain unresolved by Italian justice, seven years following your crimes were allegedly committed.
In India, the consequences of the probe into Orsi have meanwhile continued.
Last week the previous head from the air force S.P. Tyagi, 71, who had been accused of receiving kickbacks from Italy, was arrested.