New Delhi: A major middleman of the AgustaWestland scandal, Christian Michel has been extradited to India from the UAE. The CBI will interrogate and try to find out details about the scam. It is expected to accelerate in CBI inquiry into VVIP helicopter Augusta Westland.
Following long efforts, Christian Michel James, a key middleman of this deal, has been extradited to India from the UAE. The CBI will appear him in the Patiala House Court. The case of extradition of Michel was going on in the UAE court. Michel extradition is believed to be India’s biggest diplomatic success.
12 choppers were to be bought in 3600 crores
In 2010, the agreement was signed between the Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland and the Indian Government to buy 12 VVIP helicopters for the IAF. In January 2014, the Indian government canceled the contract of 3600 crores. It was alleged that a commission of 360 crore rupees was taken.
After this, the government had banned the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force in February 2013. At the time the order was issued, India had paid 30 per cent and the next three other helicopters were undergoing payment.
The case went to Italy’s court, in which it was revealed that the company had given a bribe of up to Rs 100-125 crore to the Indian officials to get a $ 53 million contract. The name of former IAF Chief SP Tyagi was also revealed in the Italian court.
After the disclosure of the Augusta Westland scandal, the opposition targeted the UPA government. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court and demanded to register a case against Sonia Gandhi. There were allegations that the Modi government had sought evidence against Sonia Gandhi from Italy.
The former chief of the company was sentenced
Guevas Rose, former chief of Finmeccanica, was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison for wrong accounting and corruption in selling VVIP helicopter. The Italian Defense and Aerospace Company had made 12 choppers deal for Rs 3,600 crore, in which Milan’s Appellate Tribunal overturned the previous court order of 2014.
Allegations of making fake bills
The court sentenced four years in prison to Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, subsidiary of Finmeccanica Helicopters. The court also convicted both of them for selling 12 helicopters to the Indian government. Both Rose and Spagnolini have been accused of making fake bills in connection with international corruption and bribery of about Rs 4,250 crore in contract with India.
Christian Michel Connection
It is alleged that Michel is a middleman who played an important role in bringing the deal to the conclusion of the AgustaWestland Agreement. Last week, in an interview Christian Michel maintained his previous statement that the leadership of the UPA government was not involved in this deal. Michel also told that he was asked to sign a deal in which there were things against the Congress leadership but he rejected this deal.