VVIP chopper case: Court extends CBI custody of Christian Michel by 4 days
Delhi court on Saturday extended by four days the CBI custody of Christian Michel, alleged middleman charge-sheeted and arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.
Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. 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 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.
Earlier seeking extension of Michel's police custody by nine days, the agency contended that he was "not cooperating" in the investigation and was giving "evasive" answers and when he finds himself in problem, he gets out of it by denying it. CBI contended that Michel was required to be confronted with some witnesses to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy and to identify his accomplices including the IAF officials, bureaucrats and politicians.
Prosecutor D P Singh, who appeared for CBI, argued that Michel was being "tutored" by his advocates during their visitations at the agency's office and the court's order allowing the lawyers to meet the accused twice a day was hampering their interrogation.
The court had earlier asked the CBI to provide all relevant documents including the charge sheet to Michel. He had landed in India on the night of December 4 and was arrested by the CBI.
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