CBI Gets Agusta "Middleman" Christian Michel's Custody: 10 Points

Christian Michel is one of the three alleged middlemen being examined in the case, along with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

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The CBI said Christian Michel's extradition took place "under the guidance" of Ajit Doval.

New Delhi:  Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal extradited by Dubai, has been sent to five-day custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation by a court in Delhi. The CBI, which produced Michel in court this afternoon after questioning him all night after his arrival in Delhi on a special flight, wanted his custody for two weeks. The government is investigating charges that Michel, a British national, organised bribes to push a Rs 3,600-crore contract for VVIP helicopters to be purchased for top Indian leaders. His extradition came through on a day Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj held discussions with her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi.
Here are the top 10 updates on Christian Michel:
  1. Arguing for Christian Michel's custody, the CBI told the court, "We need to confront him with some important documents. Money was transferred into two Dubai-based accounts."Michel's lawyer, however, had asked for judicial custody. His request for bail will be taken up by the court in the next hearing on December 10.
  2. Michel, 54, has also been permitted by the court to meet his lawyer for two hours every day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - news agency ANI reported.
  3. Michel was arrested in the UAE last year on the basis of an Interpol notice and was out on bail. The CBI said Michel's extradition took place "under the guidance" of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. He was accompanied by a team of CBI, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Foreign Ministry officials.
  4. It is the first successful extradition since India initiated similar proceedings against economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
  5. Commenting on Michel's extradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an election rally in Rajasthan, "You must have seen how we caught the middleman in the VVIP chopper scam and have brought him from Dubai to Delhi. Let us see what skeletons come out of the closet of the Congress."
  6. The AgustaWestland case involves the deal to purchase 12 luxury helicopters for use by the President, Prime Minister, former prime ministers and other VIPs, when Manmohan Singh's Congress-led coalition was in power.
  7. In 2014, the government scrapped the contract amid allegations that AgustaWestland, whose parent company Finmeccanica faced charges of bribery in Italy, had paid kickbacks in India.
  8. The Enforcement Directorate has accused Michel of receiving 30 million Euros (about Rs. 225 crore) from AgustaWestland as kickbacks. Michel is one of the three alleged middlemen being examined in the case, along with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
  9. In July, Michel's lawyer alleged that he was being pressured by Indian agencies to frame Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in return for amnesty from criminal proceedings.
  10. In August 26, UAE had asked a court on the possibility of extraditing a British national to a third country. The court said a few days later that extradition is possible. In November, a court confirmed the order, clearing the way for Michel's extradition to India. On Monday, the Dubai government passed an administrative order to enable Michel's extradition. He was extradited in coordination with the Interpol and the Dubai CID.




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Highlights

1
Christian Michel was extradited by Dubai, brought to Delhi Tuesday night
2
He was taken to CBI headquarters where he was grilled through the night
3
Michel is one of the 3 alleged middlemen in the VVIP chopper case

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