Christian Michel, the alleged AgustaWestland middleman, on Tuesday said in a Delhi court that he would join the investigations if he is moved from the high-risk prison cell he is lodged in at Delhi's Tihar Jail to a normal cell.
"I am being kept in a high risk cell where Kashmiri separatists are lodged. My next door inmate is Gangster Chhota Rajan. Why am I being kept there? It is mental torture. When Rakesh Asthana met me in Dubai, he threatened that he would make my life in jail hell. That's what is going on," Michel, who had moved an application in the special CBI court for his cell to be changed, said in court.
"I don't understand what crime I have committed to be put along with those who have killed several people..." he added.
However, Tihar Jail authorities said no Kashmir or Pakistan-based terror suspects are in the same ward as Christian Michel. "Their allegation is wrong. All Pakistani and Jammu and Kashmir inmates have been moved to another jail a month ago. He (Michel) has been provided a single cell for his convenience. If we put more inmates, they will later come and say that Michel is being put to inconvenience," the jail authorities added.
Hearing Michel, Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar has ordered production of Jail records and CCTV footage of the premises and adjourned the matter for day after tomorrow.
Christian Michel has been lodged at Tihar Jail since his extradition and arrest in December. Michel was extradited to India by the Dubai administration on December 4, after which the Enforcement Directorate took him into custody.
Michel, 54, is one of three alleged middlemen being investigated in the VVIP chopper scam for allegedly organising bribes for Indian politicians and bureaucrats to push for the AgustaWestland deal, involving 12 luxury choppers, during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule. He was placed under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, which has the authority to investigate economic offences and arrest anybody whose involvement is suspected.