Finmeccanica'south ex-CEO sentenced to 4-1/two years in jail in bribery case

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 9:27 PM

The decision is a setback to the Italian defense grouping at a time when current Chief Executive Mauro Moretti is looking to restore the company'south reputation, streamline its operations and slice its debt.

An Italian appeals Ct sentenced former Finmeccanica () chief executive Giuseppe Orsi to four and a half years in prison on Thursday for corruption and falsifying invoices, overturning a previous lower court ruling.

The decision is a setback to the Italian defense grouping at a time when current Chief Executive Mauro Moretti is looking to restore the company'south reputation, streamline its operations and slice its debt.

The trial concerned alleged bribes in a five hundred sixty million-euro ($638 million) contract awarded to Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland in two thousand-tenth to supply twelve helicopters to India.

Bruno Spagnolini, former head of AgustaWestland, was sentenced to four years in jail.

The Ct also ordered the two executives to pay 7.5 million euros ($8.5 million), a sum related to the amounts deemed to have been allegedly paid in bribes.

The case against Finmeccanica itself was dropped by prosecutors in July two thousand fourteen. AgustaWestland, which was treated separately, agreed on a 7.5 million-euro settlement with the Ct a month later.

Ennio Amodio, a lawyer for Orsi, said both defendants will appeal to Italy'south Supreme Ct against Thursday's judgment.

The men won't be detained until a final decision is handed down.

In October two thousand fourteen a lower Ct had convicted Orsi and Spagnolini of falsifying invoices but acquitted them of corruption. Both appealed against the conviction, while the prosecution appealed against the acquittal on the corruption charge.

Meanwhile the helicopter contract in issue is currently suspended and the subject of international arbitration in Paris after AgustaWestland opposed the decision in two thousand-fourteenth by New Delhi to cancel it.

A separate investigation over corruption and money laundering is still open in India and involves individuals who allegedly worked as intermediaries in striking the deal.

The Milan decision comes as the Italian grouping seeks to restore its relations with India, one of the world'south fastest growing defense markets.

Finmeccanica'south unit Wass latest June won a tender for the supply of Blackshark torpedoes to the Indian government but the signature of the contract is still pending.

($1=0.8783 euros)

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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