VVIP Chopper Deal: Open NBW Issued Against UK National Accused

Court issued an open non-bailable warrant against Christian Michel, an accused in the VVIP chopper deal case after the CBI said he was required for questioning.

Published: 24th September 2015 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2015 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court today issued an open non-bailable warrant (NBW) against British national Christian Michel James, an accused in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case, after the CBI said he was required for questioning to ascertain crucial aspects in the matter.

Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain allowed the contentions of the agency which said James, who as per the information by the UK authorities is presently staying in Dubai, was needed to be quizzed in the case to know how much amount he had received as "commission" in the entire deal.

"In view of the above submissions, open dated non-bailable warrants be issued against accused Christian Michel James," the court said.

The court fixed October 1 to consider CBI's application seeking issuance of Letter Rogatory to competent authority in Mauritius for assistance in probe and collection of documents related to the case.

CBI alleged that M/s AgustaWestland International Ltd and group firms of M/s Finmeccanica had engaged James and others as agents on "huge payment of commission/kickback to cause favour to M/s AgustaWestland International Ltd" in the matter.

The agency claimed that certain documents, appeared to have been prepared by James, were seized by Swiss authorities during searches in a similar matter, which included a "handwritten budget sheet" stated to be written by James.

It said the document showed that "the amount of Euro 30 million have been or was to be paid as illegal gratification to various persons associated in the said procurement, and others which include public/Government servants, politicians, etc. However, this document is in coded form."

The agency claimed that various reports on developments in the procurement process, sent by James to his authorities in Italy from time to time, and the pull and push being applied by him through various channels for it, were also part of the documents seized by the Swiss authorities.

It said that sustained custodial examination of James was "very essential for furtherance of investigation of this case to know the role played by him in the procurement of 12 VVIP/non-VIP helicopter deal, to identify his accomplices and associates who might have helped him in the said procurement."

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