Sat, 24 Aug 2019

New Delhi [India], Dec 5 (ANI): The Indian government is ready to provide consular access to the United Kingdom High Commission for Christian Michel, a citizen of Britain and alleged middleman in Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal, government sources said on Wednesday.

The government sources said, "We are ready to provide consular access to the UK High Commission for Christian Michel. We have no objections. However, the UK High Commission has not yet approached the Ministry of External Affairs for this. Due process will have to be followed. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will have no objections."

Meanwhile, CBI sources have claimed that they have informed the family of British businessman Michel that he has been extradited to India by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the UAE in connection with the AgustaWestland case.

The British High Commission spokesperson has said, "Our staff continues to support the family of a British man, following his detention in the UAE. We are in contact with his family and Emirati authorities regarding his case and are urgently seeking information from Indian authorities on his circumstances."

Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal, was sent to five days CBI custody on Wednesday. Michel, who arrived in the National Capital in the wee hours of Wednesday after being extradited from Dubai, was produced before a special CBI court here.

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

CBI's request for Michel's extradition was forwarded to the UAE authorities on March 19 last year through diplomatic channels. The premier investigative agency filed a charge sheet in a trial court on September 1 the same year against Michel and 11 other accused. A month later, on October 11, the trial court took cognisance of the offences.

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

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