AgustaWestland chopper scam: Middleman Christian Michel ready to depose before CBI

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Updated: December 15, 2016 5:09:22 PM

The key middleman in the VVIP AgustaWestland chopper scam, Christian Michel today said he is willing to visit India and depose before the Central Bureau of Investigation.

christian michel, agusta westland, sonia gandhi, rahul kanwal, manmohan singh, vvip chopper scam, agustan westland scam, upa, sp tyagi, finmeccanica, italy, indiaIn 2010, India had signed a deal with AgustaWestland International Ltd for the supply of 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters at price of Rs 3726.96 crore. (Source: IE)

The key middleman in the VVIP AgustaWestland chopper scam, Christian Michel told India Today channel on Thursday that he is willing to visit India and depose before the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Michel, however, said he is seeking legal advice on the matter. He would like to visit India if there is an agreement that doesn’t involve incarceration.

Michel denied he had any contact with Indian politicians. He also rejected the copies of his notes and e-mail accessed by the channel. However, he acknowledged some of them were his.

In 2010, India had signed a deal with AgustaWestland International Ltd for the supply of 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters at price of Rs 3726.96 crore. The government of India cancelled the deal in 2014 “on grounds of breach of the pre-contract integrity pact and the agreement”.

Several high profile names including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, ex-PM Manmohan Singh and former IAF chief SP Tyagi have been linked with the scam.

On Wednesday, India Today had revealed Michel’s secret notes and e-mails related to the scam. According to the notes, a prominent political family in India had received a bribe of Rs 115 crore for the deal.

The notes were seized by Italy police and later given to the CBI. The documents revealed that Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, had kept Rs 373 crore for bribing powerful people in the country.

The notes revealed how Michel had access to secret information like agenda of CCS meeting during the Manmohan Singh regime. However, Michel denied the particular note as his.

As per reports, CBI is likely to quiz Manmohan Singh, ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha an dex-CBI Spl Director Salim Ali in connection with the case.

On December 10, ex-Air Force head SP Tyagi had blamed Singh’s office for the scam even as the former along with two other accused was sent to four-day CBI custody.

IE had reported on February 13, 2013 that Italian investigators had found that Tyagi received bribes to ensure the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

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