AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam: Dubai government extradites Christian Michel to India

Helicopter manufacturing company AgustaWestland Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 04, 2018, 07.26 PM (IST)

The Dubai government has passed an order to extradite Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the multi-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case.

Sources said Michel will be coming to Delhi escorted by the CBI tonight. He will be present in court on Wednesday, sources added.

Christian James Michel, a British national has been taken to Dubai airport and is now on his way to India, media reports in Dubai said.

In July, Delhi's Patiala House Court had summoned former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. They were asked to appear in court on September 12th.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier filed a fresh chargesheet in a Delhi court accusing Orsi, Spagnolini and ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi of money-laundering in the VVIP chopper bribery scam case.

Italy had earlier refused to extradite Carlo Gerosa, an alleged middleman. The government of Italy said it did not have legal assistance treaty with India. Gerosa was believed to be a key person in the alleged scam. Interpol had already issued a Red Corner Notice against Gerosa.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore for securing the deal.

It was alleged that the three middlemen - Gerosa, Guido Haschke and Christian Michel - had managed to "make inroads into the IAF in order to influence and subvert its stand regarding reducing the service ceiling of helicopters from 6,000 million to 4,500 million in 2005 after which AgustaWestland became eligible to supply a dozen helicopters for VVIP flying duties.

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On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF