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Finmeccanica denies Panama kickback report

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Italy's state-controlled defense firm Finmeccanica said it "had committed no irregularities" in a 2010 contact to supply its AgustaWestland helicopters to Panama, denying accusations printed by an Italian newspaper.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on Wednesday that an intermediary between Finmeccanica and Panama president Ricardo Martinelli promised to give Martinelli a helicopter worth $8 million as a gift in exchange for a purchase of five helicopters in 2010.

Italian politics in recent weeks has been rocked by allegations that taxpayers' money has been used by politicians of all stripes for private purposes.

Source: Reuters