VVIP chopper scam: CBI gets five days to grill Christian Michel, unearth money trail

A proposal for the Rs 3,600 crore helicopter deal to ferry VVIPs was initiated in 1999 to find an alternative to the IAF flying horses of Soviet-era -- Mi-8s.

Published: 05th December 2018 07:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2018 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

The van carrying Michel Christian the alleged middleman in the multi-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal leaves after he was produced at a CBI court in Patiala House Courts New Delhi Wednesday December 5 2018. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, who was extradited from Dubai late Tuesday, was on Wednesday remanded in CBI custody for five days. 
The CBI prosecutor sought 14 days to interrogate Michel, 57, to unravel the money trail connected with the alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600-crore deal, and to identify his accomplices including IAF officials, bureaucrats and politicians.

Special judge Arvind Kumar, however, granted only five days custody and asked the CBI to provide all documents, including the chargesheet, to Michel. As expected, PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were ecstatic over Michel’s extradition, saying it would reveal the corrupt antics of the Congress party. “Shouldn’t he (Michel) be caught; should he be protected; what does the Opposition want?” asked Shah. 

Insisting that the extradition would spell doom for the Congress, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao claimed “Michel’s closeness to (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi is believed to be akin to Ottavio Quattrocchi’s with Sonia Gandhi. Michel has tried to protect the (Gandhi) family so far. But, no further.” 

The Congress responded by demanding a CBI probe into the exoneration of AgustaWestland and its parent firm Finmeccanica, which were blacklisted by the UPA government. Meanwhile, the British High Commission said it has sought urgent consular access to Michel, who happens to be a British national. 

Youth Congress expels legal cell head
The Youth Congress on Wednesday expelled its legal department national in-charge Aljo K Joseph after he appeared in a court for Christian Michel. 

Jittery Mallya offers to full dues
Vijay Mallya, who is next in line for extradition, on Wednesday offered to pay back “100% of the principal amount” to banks. “Please take it,” he tweeted





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