Israeli arms deal clean: Antony

April 3rd, 2009 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 3 (IANS) A $1.4 billion missile deal India has signed with Israel is “clean” and contains a clause providing for its cancellation if it is proved kickbacks were involved, Defence Minister A.K. Anthony said Friday.
The deal, signed in February but made public only in March, is the biggest between the two countries. The Left parties have now alleged corruption in the deal for the supply of an anti-missile air defence system.

“This is an old issue. It was in 2002 that the decision was taken to replace our old missiles. From 2007, for two years this deal was discussed by various departments of the defence ministry and it even has a pre-integrity agreement,” Antony told reporters here.

He pointed out that the pre-integrity agreement clearly states that the deal can be cancelled at any point of time if the government feels that kickbacks were involved.

“It can be revoked at any time. If the future government feels any such thing has happened in the deal, they can cancel it and take legal steps (against Israel Aerospace Industries that is executing the deal),” Antony said.

Asked to comment on former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi working for a foreign company in New Delhi, he said: “I am not aware of it. Many retired defence officials do work after retirement.”

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