Sun, 16 Dec 2018
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Dubai

New Delhi [India], Dec 3 (ANI): Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal, arrived in New Delhi in the wee hours of Wednesday after being extradited to India from Dubai.

Michel, who is presently at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters, is likely to be produced before a competent court on Wednesday. Furthermore, the CBI is likely to ask the court for extended custody of Michel for the purpose of investigation.

On Tuesday, the CBI had issued a statement saying: "Wanted fugitive criminal Christian Michel James who has been avoiding criminal proceedings in India in AgustaWestland Case is being extradited by UAE Authorities to India. Under the guidance of Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (NSA), the entire operation is being coordinated by Incharge Director/CBI M. Nageswara Rao. A team lead by A. Sai Manohar, Joint Director/CBI has been to Dubai for the purpose."

According to the CBI, Wolfgang Max Richard Michel, father of Christian, was also a consultant of AgustaWestland, United Kingdom for the Indian territory in 1980s had reportedly acted as a mediator in other countries too. Wolfgang Michel promoted three companies Entera Corporation, UCM International Trading Limited and Ferro-Imports Limited. Between 1987 and 1996, Entera Corporation reportedly earned more than two million pounds from India.

The CBI further informed that Christain's sister Sasha Ozeman had been in the news for standing by her brother's side and made public statements pertaining to the involvement of Christian in the VVIP Chopper deal case.

Christian's extradition, which took place days after a Dubai court rejected his plea against the move, marks a major success for Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who had been pushing for his extradition.

The Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VIP helicopter deal, finalised during the previous government of Manmohan Singh, had got mired in allegations of kickbacks. The 54-year-old Michel is an accused in the case along with some others including former Air Chief SP Tyagi.

According to the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet filed in a court here two years back, Michel had received kickbacks to the tune of 30 million Euros from AgustaWestland for the deal involving a purchase of 12 VIP helicopters. The deal, signed in 2007, was scrapped in 2013 following the bribery allegations.

CBI had filed charge sheet in a trial court on September 1, 2017 against Christian and 11 other accused persons. The trial court took cognizance of the offences on October 11, 2017. CBI's request for extradition was forwarded to the UAE authorities on March 19, last year through diplomatic channels.

Extradition proceedings were held before UAE Court against Christian on the extradition request of CBI. Vide order dated November 19, 2018, the Court of Dubai upheld the lower court decision for possibility of extraditing Christian to Indian authorities. Accordingly, Christian is being extradited to face the legal proceedings. (ANI)

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