Caption: AgustaWestland Deal alleged middlemen Christian Michel. File photo/ANI
Caption: AgustaWestland Deal alleged middlemen Christian Michel. File photo/ANI

Court reserves order on Michel's bail plea

ANI | Updated: Dec 22, 2018 15:53 IST

New Delhi (India), Dec 22, (ANI): The Patiala House Court here on Saturday reserved its order in the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) application, seeking the custody of AgustaWestland chopper deal alleged middlemen Christian Michel. The court also reserved its order on the bail plea of Michel.
During the hearing, seeking Michel's custody the ED's Counsel DP Singh, said: "We are aware of the investigation of 30 million Euros. The CBI investigation is of about 37.5 million Euros. We have to cover that gap. Two of the properties totaling about Rs 6 crore have been bought."
ED further said that this is purely a case of money laundering. It also alleged that the money had come through 'hawala' channel and not official channels and Michel has some leads, which can lead the investigation further.
Michel's Counsel Alio K Joseph, while opposing the ED, said: "The ED didn't try to question him while he was in the custody of the CBI. We are filing all the documents related to his financial transaction."
"Indian authorities are again asking for the custody for his confession. All the documents have already been collected by the Italian government. They have not done any investigation by themselves," Joseph added.
Meanwhile, the CBI opposed the bail plea filed by Michel saying that he is enjoying the close proximity of the high-class people. The premier investigators in their reply also wrote that Michel's release would hamper the entire investigation.
On Friday, the ED moved a petition in the Patiala House Court seeking production warrant of Michel. The court on the same day directed the CBI to cancel the look-out circular (LOC) issued against former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, who is also an accused in the case.
The AgustaWestland helicopter deal finalised during the previous government headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got mired in the allegations of kickbacks. According to the ED charge sheet, Michel had received kickbacks to the tune of 30 million Euros from AgustaWestland for the deal involving the purchase of 12 VIP helicopters. The deal, signed in 2007, was scrapped in 2013 following the bribery allegation. (ANI)