In a fresh development in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Christian Michel Saturday. The British national was produced before Delhi High Court’s Special Judge Arvind Kumar wherein the probe agency sought Michel’s custody for 15 days. ED was granted the permission to interrogate Michel for 15 minutes inside the courtroom followed by his arrest. Michel was sent to seven-day custody under ED, PTI reported.
The court had earlier sent the British national, key accused in Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, to judicial custody till December 28 after he was extradited from UAE. The CBI had sought for his remand to “confront him with some important documents” in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case. Michel’s extradition came six years after his alleged involvement in the purchase of VVIP helicopters first surfaced in 2012.
Michel was among the alleged middlemen who brokered the chopper deal and who, investigators claim, paid bribes to officials and politicians to swing the contract in favour of AgustaWestland, the British arm of Italian firm Finmeccanica. The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (approximately Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.
On Friday, Michel moved an application in Delhi’s Patiala House Court seeking a special cell in Tihar Jail.