Alleged middleman in the 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case Christian Michel was on Wednesday produced before a Delhi court, which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI. Mr. Michel, who is a citizen of the United Kingdom, was brought to India on late Tuesday night following his extradition by the UAE in connection with the case.
He was produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar, who remanded him in police custody for five days allowing the premier investigating agency’s plea that they required his custodial interrogation to find out the money trail.
Earlier, the judge allowed discussions between Mr. Michel and his advocate for five minutes. His counsel opposed the police remand plea on the ground that Mr. Michel did not have any paper of the case, including the charge sheet to argue. The CBI prosecutor submitted that accused’s custody was also required to confront him with the evidence of the case, following which the judge rejected the defence counsel’s plea for remanding Mr. Michel in judicial custody.
The accused will now be produced before the court on December 10. A bail plea was also moved on behalf of him. The CBI filed a charge sheet against the accused in September 2017. Among those arraigned were retired Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, his cousins, former Air Marshal J.S. Gujral, two other alleged middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, the then AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini, Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi and others. The CBI has alleged a loss of about ₹2,666 crore to the exchequer due to the scam.