Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

AgustaWestland deal 'middleman' Christian Michel brought to India

AgustaWestland deal 'middleman' Christian Michel brought to India

After the immigation procedure, he will be taken to the CBI headquarters at south Delhi's Lodhi Road area. It was a Rs 3,546 crore contract to supply 12 AW-101 helicopters to the IAF. Christian James Michel was on the line.

He has been described as a historic consultant for AgustaWestland.

In February 2010, the ruling UPA government signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for Indian Air Force for Rs 3,600-crore, to carry the president, PM and other VVIPs. Both leaders' photos were shown to Haschke during the trial by Italian Prosecutors and he confirmed that Michel was handling politicians and he was handling officials in Defence Ministry and Indian Air Force through agents. He tracked movements of procurement related files and sent periodical reports for AgustaWestland, through contacts in Italy and Switzerland.

"In this process, he shared the information collected from the IAF and the MoD with his associates, who further used to transmit the despatches through fax to the counterparts sitting overseas in Italy and Switzerland".

The chargesheet mentioned Khaitan as the "brain" behind the deal.

In July 2006, at a meeting in Italy's Cascina Costa, Mr. Lunardi - in the presence of Mr. Orsi - proposed that the accused would join the other two middlemen in carrying out the scouting and monitoring work for the deal.

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According to the sources, it is alleged that he had entered into a criminal conspiracy with the accused and the public servants who then abused their official positions by reducing the service ceiling of VVIP helicopters from 6,000m to 4,500m. The letter was allegedly written by Michel to Peter Hulet, then India region sales and liaison head of AgustaWestland.

Investigators also alleged that Michel paid off influential people in India, who helped reject the Russian and American choppers. This decision was inspired by James' knowledge of the Indian military.

Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. CBI and ED had started investigations in india. However, before he could be arrested, he escaped from India. However, when he failed to do so, an open non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him in September 2015. Two years, Michel came in front of media and gave series of interviews to accuse Indian Government for targeting him for the political gains.

The CBI's extradition request was forwarded to the UAE authorities on March 19, 2017, through diplomatic channels.

Michel who went missing after Dubai court's extradition approval was arrested in the UAE previous year on the basis of an Interpol notice and was out on bail.

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