- Patiala House Court extended Christian Michel's CBI custody by 4 days
- Last week, CBI cited "non-cooperation" to seek 9-day custody but got 5
- Michel accused of facilitating bribes to push for Rs 3,600-cr copter deal
A Delhi court today extended the CBI custody of Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam, by four days. The central agency had sought extension of custody from the judge, so they could further question him on the matter.
During the hearing, Mr Michel's counsel Rosemary Patrizi said she had represented him for almost five years in trials held across Italy and Switzerland. The Patiala House Court then allowed her to speak to him for 10 minutes, in spite of the CBI questioning her credentials. It, however, refused to let Ms Patrizi visit him in CBI custody.
Last week, the CBI had cited "non-cooperation" on the accused's part to seek nine-day custody. The court, however, had allowed only five. On December 11, a petition by the probe agency to take signature and handwriting samples of Mr Michel was admitted in court.
The 54-year-old British national is one of the three alleged middlemen being investigated over charges of organising bribes for Indian politicians and bureaucrats to push for the AgustaWestland deal, involving 12 luxury choppers, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was still in power. He was brought to India from Dubai on December 4, over a year after India filed an extradition request in March 2017.
The court will hear Mr Michel's bail plea on December 19.