AgustaWestland scam: Christian Michel lands in Delhi for CBI investigation; middleman was extradited from UAE

On Tuesday, alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scam Christian James Michel was extradited from UAE to India following an order by the Dubai government.  Michel arrived in New Delhi late Tuesday night.

India Today reported that Michel was taken into Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody upon landing and a non-bailable warrant was issued against him. He will be quizzed by officials at the CBI headquarters of the (CBI), where he will also be kept for the night.

CNN-News18 reported that Michel will be produced before Delhi's Patiala House Court Wednesday. The CBI said that the operation was executed under the guidance of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

File image of Christian Michel. News18

File image of Christian Michel. News18

The UAE government cleared the extradition of 57-year-old Michel on Tuesday days after his appeal against the move was turned down by a court.

His alleged involvement in the chopper deal surfaced in 2012. Michel swung the deal in favour of AgustaWestland and made illegal payment of commission/kickbacks to the Indian authorities, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal claimed. Michel was wanted for investigation but he escaped and avoided joining the probe, he added.

A chargesheet was filed against Michel in September, 2017. "An open non-bailable arrest warrant dated 24 September, 2015, was issued by the special judge, CBI cases, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi," he further said.

On the basis of this warrant, a Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol which led to his arrest in Dubai in February 2017. Michel was behind bars in Dubai since he was arrested and sent to custody pending the legal and judicial procedure in the UAE.

The Dubai Court of Cassation dismissed the two objections filed by Michel's lawyers and upheld the appellate court's decision to consider the possibility of extraditing him to the competent Indian authorities.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2018 09:33:24 IST

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