NEW DELHI: A day after the big buzz on an UAE court ordering the extradition of AgustaWestland helicopter deal middleman Christian Michel, there was no confirmation here on whether the directive was actually issued. Michel went underground fearing arrest, his lawyer revealed on Wednesday.
“He will be arrested if found. He is likely to file an appeal before the Supreme Court,” his counsel Amal Alsubei said. Michel, a British national, has time till October 2 to file his appeal.
However, in New Delhi, sources claimed there was no extradition order in the first place. “We have not received any official communication from Dubai,” they said. CBI sources, too, denied having any official confirmation on the extradition.
Yet, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called it a positive development and in an apparent reference to the Congress, claiming the news had created unease among some leaders.
“It is a good development, but I must point out that I notice a profound sense of unease in some leaders,” he rubbed in.
Michel was arrested in the UAE last year and is out on bail. He is wanted in India for allegedly funnelling bribes in exchange for a contract for VVIP helicopters.
The AgustaWestland case involves the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters for use by top leaders. The deal was signed between the UPA-I government and Agusta in 2007.
It was scrapped in 2013 after AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica was accused of bribery in Italy.