AgustaWestland case: Cong expels Christian Michel's lawyer Aljo Joseph from party

The BJP on Wednesday hit out at the Congress as the in-charge of its youth wing's legal department appeared in a court as a lawyer for Christian Michel, the alleged middleman who has been chargesheeted in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

Youth Congress member defending Christian Michel in court, BJP raises eyebrows
Aljo K Joseph, national in-charge of Youth Congress' legal department. ANI Photo
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 05 Dec 2018 10:55 PM
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday expelled from party Aljo Joseph, the in-charge of its youth wing's legal department, who appeared for the AgustaWestland chopper deal accused Christian Michel in a Delhi court. Youth Congress in-charge Krishna Allavaru said Joseph appeared for Michel in his personal capacity and didn't consult the party. "Aljo K Joseph appeared in his personal capacity. He did not consult the Youth Congress before appearing in the case. IYC does not endorse such actions. IYC has removed Aljo Joseph from IYC’s legal department and expelled him from the party with immediate effect," he said.

It comes after the BJP hit out at the Congress for Joseph defending Michel, the alleged middleman who has been chargesheeted in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal. Michel, a citizen of United Kingdom, was brought to India late Tuesday night following his extradition by the UAE in connection with the case.

"Any guesses who is lawyer for Christian Michel ? Mr @Aljokjoseph , National incharge, legal department, Indian youth congress (Youth wing of Cong led by #OutonBail @rahulgandhi)," Mumbai BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua tweeted late afternoon. Just wondering how was Aljo Joseph appointed as a lawyer of Christian Michel, he said.

Joseph, however, said his profession and relationship with the Congress party are two separate things. "My relation with the Congress is separate and my profession is separate. One of my friends, who was having some Dubai connections, through him the lawyer in Italy had requested it. So I was just helping in appearing and assisting him in this matter," Joseph said.

He said he's a practicing lawyer and appeared for the AgustaWestland middleman in his professional capacity. "I am an actively practicing advocate. I appeared for him (Christian Michel) in my professional capacity. If somebody asks me to appear on behalf of a client...I've only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with Congress," he said.

ALSO READ: Who is Christian Michel and what's his role in AgustaWestland chopper case?

Meanwhile, Michel was on Wednesday produced before a Delhi court which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI. He will again be produced in the court on December 10. Michel was produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar which allowed discussions between him and his advocate for five minutes.

Michel's advocate asked the court to send him to judicial custody but the CBI sought his 14-days custodial interrogation to confront him with evidence and unearth the money trail in the scam. However, the judge allowed CBI to interrogate Michel for five days in its custody.
The court asked the CBI to provide all relevant documents including the charge sheet to Michel. A bail plea was also moved on his behalf. The court did not give any specific date for hearing the bail plea.