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AgustaWestland case: UAE court clears Christian Michel’s extradition

Alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal Christian Michel.  

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) court has allowed the extradition of alleged British middleman Christian Michel, wanted by Indian investigating agencies in connection with the ₹3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

It is learnt that the court has found merit in the arguments made in favour of India's request for Michel's extradition, disallowing the defence's contentions on various counts. The agencies are yet to completely examine the court order.

“The court order is in Arabic. The document will have to be translated. However, it seems that the court has allowed the extradition of Christian Michel in view of the evidence of his role in the alleged scam, as put forth by India,” said a senior official.

Bribes paid

Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets, also naming Michel as one of the alleged middlemen through whom bribes were paid by AgustaWestland to bag the deal for supply of 12 helicopters to India in 2010.

The agencies have alleged that Michel received Euro 30 million (around ₹225 crore) from AgustaWestland for the job.

The middleman allegedly influenced the decision to reduce the service ceiling of helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres in 2005, which made AgustaWestland eligible for the contract.

The ED charge sheet also alleged that remittances made by Michel through his Dubai-based firm, Global Services FZE, to a media firm in Delhi, floated by him along with two Indians, were from the funds received from AgustaWestland.

About three dozen individuals and companies, including former Air Chief S.P. Tyagi and his cousins, are accused in the criminal and the money-laundering cases.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland over bribery allegations.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 9:44:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/agustawestland-case-uae-court-clears-christian-michels-extradition/article24980834.ece

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