A Delhi court on Saturday extended the CBI custody of British national Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, by four days, ANI reported. Michel has been in CBI custody ever since he was extradited from the UAE on December 4. He was produced before the Patiala House court.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted the custody of the accused after the probe agency said that Michel needs to be confronted with various documents in the case. The CBI had sought a five-day custody of the accused.
The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about 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. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.
Both the agencies had notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against Michel after the court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him. Besides Michel, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa are the two remaining middlemen who are being probed by the ED and the CBI.
Earlier this week, the court had allowed the CBI to take specimens of signature and handwriting samples of Michel after his counsel said he wanted to prove his client’s innocence. The CBI had said that Michel’s handwriting and signature samples are required to match them with the documents which are already in the possession of the agency.