The developments in the case will have its ramifications on the crucial Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held next year, given the high stakes for the BJP.
NEW DELHI: The alleged British middleman in a scandal-hit helicopter deal between India and an Anglo-Italian firm was due to appear in a Delhi court on Wednesday after being extradited by the UAE, authorities said. Earlier, the Dubai government passed an administrative order to extradite Michel to India.
The UAE government had cleared the extradition of 57-year-old Michel after his appeal against the move was turned down by a court there. "The truth qua Christian Michel is already out in the open", he claimed. He was allegedly hired by AgustaWestland to influence people including politicians, officials and journalists. Even before Michel, his father had also been a consultant of AgustaWestland, UK for the Indian Territory.
What is the chopper scam?
On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore. The CBI took up the investigation in 2105.
Michel had denied the charges.
The agency may also file a fresh (supplementary) chargesheet in this case detailing the role of other accused.
Accusations against Michel In its chargesheet filed against Michel in June 2016, the ED had alleged that he received?42 million euros from AgustaWestland.
James is one of three middlemen being probed in the case by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the scam.
The probe also found that Michel had hired a firm to provide to him from India an analysis of market publications related to manufacturing industry active in Indian defence arena, the economic and financial trends in the country and overall views on private sector participation in Indian defence and manufacturing industry.
It was alleged that he had entered into a criminal conspiracy with co-accused persons, which included the then IAF chief SP Tyagi and his family members, and the public servants had abused their official positions by reducing service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres.
Sources said that Michel had entered into as many as 12 contracts through his two firms, with Finmeccannica, AgustaWestland and Westland helicopters to legitimise the illicit commission on procurement of the VVIP choppers.