The Enforcement Directorate filed a supplementary charge sheet - the fourth so far - in the alleged AugustaWestland scam case at the Delhi Patiala House court on Thursday. Two references made in the charge sheet - focusing on the role of Christian Michel, his associate David Syms and two foreign companies - were reported widely in the media.
One of them was "FAM", and the other "AP".
The probe agency, in the charge sheet, said that "AP" stands for Ahmed Patel and "FAM" for family. However, a closer look at the document raises doubts over which family that is, exactly.
Point 5.7 in page 14 of the Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet refers to the "family" as fellow-middleman Guido Haschke's family. "The investigation has further revealed that the liaison services rendered by these two middlemen (Christian Michel and Guido Haschke) and payments made to them were with the knowledge of (Giuseppe) Orsi and other top officials of AugustaWestland. This fact is corroborated with the note regarding a meeting dated 8.5.2011, wherein it was clearly discussed that "there was an arrangement for Euro 42 million with the team of Christian James Michel and the other for Euro 28 million (not less than 5% of the total contract value) with the family," the charge sheet states.
The Enforcement Directorate cites the "statement of Michel, which was corroborated by documentary evidence and other material facts", as the basis for the above findings. This indicates that the two middlemen whose services AugustaWestland availed for influencing the deal in their favour were Christian Michel, who has been referred as "Team Michel", and Guido Haschke's family, which has been referred to as "the family". However, the agency later deviates from this finding.
In page 40 of the document, the Enforcement Directorate says: "The transaction of 15 million Euros was recorded under the sub-head FAM and under the header POL on the budget sheet containing details of kickbacks". This gives an impression that the family referred here is a political one because it has been mentioned under the "POL" heading, which - according to the agency - means "political persons".
The BJP has repeatedly alleged links between Agusta middlemen and the Gandhi family.
Interestingly, page 31 of the charge sheet detailing the kickbacks (seized document no. 1 0151) have the heading "POL on the budget sheet containing details of kickbacks", but "FAM" is not a sub-head under the heading "POL", as stated by the agency. "FAM", on the other hand, is a separate fourth heading.
Despite the annexed seized document clearly showing that like "POL", even "FAM" is a separate heading, the Enforcement Directorate seemingly misquoted it as a sub-head of "POL" in the latter party of the charge sheet. Such instances of misquoting create the impression that "FAM", as mentioned in the document, refers to a political family.
The Enforcement Directorate has not responded to NDTV's queries seeking a clarification.
The AgustaWestland scam concerns bribes allegedly paid to middlemen and Indian officials for facilitating the purchase of helicopters for high-level politicians during the Congress-led UPA rule.
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