VVIP chopper scam: CBI gets custody of Christian Michel for 5 more days
10 December 2018
The Patiala House Court in Delhi today extended CBI custody of the alleged AgustaWestland middleman Chrishtian Michel by another 5 days. Michel who was brought to India from Dubai, had been remanded earlier to 5-day CBI custody on 5 December.
During the hearing, the CBI told the court that Michel was not cooperating with the probe and was evasive in giving answers.
Michel is reported to have filed a fresh detailed bail application, after withdrawing his earlier application.
Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the AgustaWestland chopper case, apart from Italian Guido Haschke (US and Italian nationality) and Carlo Gerosa (Swiss and Italian nationality).
The AgustaWestland case involves a deal to purchase 12 luxury helicopters for use by President, Prime Minister, former prime ministers and other VIPs. Michel was arrested in UAE last year on the basis of an Interpol notice and was out on bail.
Michel had alleged entered into a criminal conspiracy with co-accused persons, which included then IAF chief SP Tyagi and his family members, with connivance of some public servants who had abused their official positions by reducing service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6,000 mtrs to 4,500 mtrs.
The reduction in ceiling made AgustaWestland eligible for contract worth 556.262 million Euros, which was awarded to it by the defence ministry on 8 February 2010, for procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters.
On 1 January 2014, India scrapped the contract with Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to securing the deal.