AgustaWestland chopper deal case: UAE Court clears British middleman Michel’s extradition

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) court ordered the extradition of an alleged British middleman Christian Michel in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case to India. Michel was arrested in the UAE last year and was facing extradition proceedings in the country.

It is learnt that the court has found merit in the arguments made in favour of India’s request for Michel’s extradition, disallowing the defence’s contentions on various counts.

Senior official said, “The court order is in Arabic. The document will have to be translated. However, it seems that the court has allowed the extradition of Christian Michel in view of the evidence of his role in the alleged scam, as put forth by India.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets. He is wanted in India for allegedly organising bribes in exchange for a 2007 contract for VVIP helicopters for the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters to India in 2010 for use by top leaders, including the President, Prime Minister and former prime ministers.

The CBI and ED have alleged that Michel received Euro 30 million (around Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland for the job.

Former Air Chief S.P. Tyagi and his cousinsand many others, are accused in the criminal and the money-laundering cases.

In 2014, the Indian Government had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland over bribery allegations.