There is no order by any UAE court to extradite to India Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, it is learnt, in a twist to the issue of getting the British national to face probe by Indian investigation agencies. Official sources last night said a Dubai court has ordered for the extradition of Michel in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case. The CBI Wednesday said it was awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on reports about extradition of Michel from the UAE.
According to available details here, the UAE government posed a question to a Dubai court whether a British national can be extradited to a third country, and on September 2, the court gave an opinion on the query. It is learnt that there was no court order on extradition of Michel to India as reported. The external affairs ministry had asked its embassy in the UAE to find out all the details relating to the issue. Government sources said India has not received any official communication from authorities in the UAE relating to extradition of Michel. He is wanted in India in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal scam.
The Enforcement Directorate (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. Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Both the agencies have notified an Interpol red corner notice against him after the court issued a non-bailable warrant.
On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.
The CBI has alleged that there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (approximately 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.