AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel extradited

AgustaWestland scam: Christian Michel boards flight to India after Dubai passes extradition order

In November 2015 a Red Corner Notice was issued and his first arrest by UAE authorities in February 2017 brought the focus back on him.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought to capitalise politically on the scandal as the contract was signed under the previous government of the Congress party.

Persons familiar with the developments confirmed that Michel landed in India at 10:45pm after which he was taken to the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for further questioning.

Under the guidance of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the entire operation was coordinated by CBI Director In-charge M. Nageswara Rao.

The move is even more significant because Michel is a British national being extradited to India from Dubai.Hindustan Times, owned by HT Media Ltd, is one of India's largest publications that provides unbiased news, analysis and features on politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and more. He reached the CBI headquarters at 1:38am.

According to Indian investigative agencies, James had received at least Rs 235 crore for ensuring that the chopper contract went to AgustaWestland. He was allegedly also in touch with officials from the PMO, SPG, CVC and defence ministry. He tracked movements of procurement related files and sent periodical reports for AgustaWestland, through contacts in Italy and Switzerland.

AgustaWestland scam: Christian Michel boards flight to India after Dubai passes extradition order
British middleman in AgustaWestland scam being extradited to India

In its chargesheet, the CBI had named former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF Vice Chief J.S. Gujral and advocate Gautam Khaitan as the four Indians involved in the scam. Renzo Lunardi, the then Commercial Manager of AgustaWestland, proposed his appointment and it was cleared by Mr. Orsi, as alleged.

"During the meeting, they had negotiated a comprehensive fee equal to 7 per cent of the supply contract amount", a source said.

Initially, the investigation conducted by Italian authorities indicted him for offences of global bribery and corruption, following which the CBI too started a probe against him.

Michel was brought to India late Tuesday night following his extradition by the UAE in connection with the case. Although he managed to wriggle out from the legal tussle in UAE, the CBI requested for extradition on 19 March 2017 through diplomatic channels.

A charge sheet was filed against him in September previous year.

Michel's alleged involvement in the chopper deal surfaced in 2012 as a middleman for swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland and for making illegal payment of commissions or kickbacks to the Indian authorities, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

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