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VVIP chopper case: ED questions Christian Michel in jail

Agency quizzes the accused in the light of fresh evidence

The Enforcement Directorate has questioned British national Christian Michel at the Tihar jail in connection with the ₹3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.

The agency had earlier approached a Delhi special court seeking permission to quiz the accused in the light of fresh evidence.

The court, in its order, said considering the requirement of investigation and the sensitive nature of the case, it was appropriate to allow the probe officials to question the accused on Monday and Tuesday inside the jail, where he is lodged in judicial custody.

Permission was given to three ED officials to interrogate Michel James in the presence of the Jail Superintendent. The accused was also allowed to get legal assistance from his lawyer.

In March, Michel had moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail on the grounds that he was susceptible to contracting COVID-19 in the jail. The ED and the CBI opposed his bail application, saying he was safe in the jail. The prisoners had been screened for the virus and were not found infected.

Michel was extradited to India in December 2018, following which he was arrested by the ED in the money-laundering case involving the VVIP chopper deal.

The agency has alleged that kickbacks of about €70 million were paid through middlemen — Michel, Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke — to bag the deal for supply of 12 helicopters. To evade detection, several shell companies were used to channel to the funds.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:37:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vvip-chopper-case-ed-questions-christian-michel-in-jail/article31680947.ece

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