Monday, 17 December, 2018

Agusta "Middleman" Christian Michel Sent To 5-Day CBI Custody: 10 Points

Christian Michel- Patiala House AgustaWestland scam: Christian Michel boards flight to India after Dubai passes extradition order
Pablo Mccormick | 05 December, 2018, 14:17

"Michel, who has been avoiding criminal proceedings in India in the AgustaWestland case, is being extradited by the UAE authorities to India".

It is believed that the extradition of Michel to India is likely to create more trouble for the Gandhi family as the scam had taken place during the UPA regime and it was alleged that due to political intervention, specifications were changed to favour the Italian firm AgustaWestland and keep other competitors out of the bid.

The CBI, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening, credited NSA Ajit Doval's supervision for the smooth processing of Christian Michel's extradition.

Christian Michel James is described as a historical consultant of AgustaWestland/Westland Helicopters, UK with technical operational knowledge of the aircraft, the military bases and the pilots.

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The chargesheet of the case - which runs into 30,000 pages - mentions that the CBI identified the trail to €62 million and that the AgustaWestland deal resulted in the wrongful loss of €398.21 million to the Indian exchequer.

The email also claims that Christian Michel was confronted with documents related to the case and the Indian official even asked for his opinion "if 90% of these documents were correct to which Michel responded that may be 60% of it was correct". Both agencies have notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against him after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

In February 2013, the government chose to put on hold the deal following the arrest of chairman of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and CEO of Agusta Westland Bruno Spagnolini on charges that they bribed middlemen to secure the deal with IAF.

According to CBI, because of his expertise in engineering, James was a part of the conspiracy to reduce the flying height for the VIP helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres.

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"During the meeting, they had negotiated a comprehensive fee equal to 7 per cent of the supply contract amount", a source said.

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

His alleged involvement in the chopper deal surfaced in 2012 as a middleman for swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland and for making illegal payment of commissions or kickbacks to the Indian authorities, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

The CBI filed a charge sheet against the accused in September 2017.

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