New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday extended by four days the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remand of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman charge-sheeted and arrested in the graft-tainted AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case. The Patiala House Court extended the remand for his custodial interrogation by the CBI. The court will hear Michel’s bail application on December 19.
The CBI had urged the Patiala House Court to grant it further custody of Michel for five more days. CBI sought further remand of him to collaborate with some evidence. The probe agency also wants to take Michel to Mumbai.
The 57-year-old British national was produced before Special Judge Arvind Kumar. The probe agency told the judge he needs to be confronted with various documents in the case.
Michel’s lawyer, Rosemary Patrizi, arrived at the court and argued that she represented him for almost five years in Italy and Switzerland following which the court allowed her to talk to Michel for 10 minutes. Patrizi will be appearing for the alleged middleman. However, the CBI raised questions on her credentials. The court has, however, refused Patrizzi’s request to visit Michel.
Patrizi claimed that she has some more documents regarding the case that she wants to submit in the court. Michel was arrested in the UAE and extradited to India on December 4.
The next day, he was produced before the court which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI which was later extended to five more days.
Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and the CBI. Both the agencies notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against him after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.