The CBI custody of British national Christian Michel James, who is a key accused in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was extended by five days by a Delhi court. He was produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar after his initial five-day CBI remand ended today.
Michel was extradited by UAE authorities to the national capital last week. The court today extended his custody after the CBI alleged that he was not co-operating in the case and was evasive in his responses during interrogation.
“We need to confront him with the LR (letters rogatory) that have been received from five countries. Christian Michel did not co-operate with the Italian investigation in the case,” the investigating agency was quoted as saying by ANI.
The CBI had sought a nine-day remain for custodial interrogation. The agency, however, agreed to provide consular access to the chopper deal case accused. “We have already been approached by British counsellors. We have allowed their plea of keeping their own counsel,” the CBI said.
The court also directed Michel’s counsel to file a response to a CBI application, seeking the specimen of his handwriting and signature by tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Michel withdrew his earlier bail plea and filed a fresh detailed bail application.
The 54-year-old accused was among the alleged middlemen who brokered the 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.