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A special court has issued a fresh open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel James in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case, while summoning as accused his two Indian associates and an Indian company. Besides issuing arrest warrant against James, Special Judge Arvind Kumar summoned as accused M/s Media Exim Private Limited and its directors, R K Nanda and J B Subramaniyam. It posted the matter for further hearing on January 7. The firm was created by James, along with the two individuals.
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“There is prima facie evidence against the accused,” the court said. It passed the order after Public Prosecutor Navin Kumar Matta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), submitted that the alleged middleman was out of India and pressed for an open-ended NBW against him to bring him here to face the trial. An open-ended NBW does not carry a time limit for its execution.
In June this year, ED had filed 1,300-page prosecution complaint (equivalent for charge sheet) in connection with its money laundering probe in the case. It had said the agency’s investigation into the case had found that James allegedly received Euro 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from M/s AgustaWestland which was nothing but “kickbacks” paid by the firm to execute the deal for sale of 12 helicopters to India in favour of the firm in “guise” of genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country.