Business Standard

AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel extradited to India

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Christian Michel James, a British national and a middleman, on Tuesday was extradited to India, a development that comes as a boost to Indian agencies investigating the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case.

The (CBI) took him under his custody as soon as he arrived at the around 11 p.m. in a special James, 57, was accompanied by some CBI, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and officials. After the immigation procedure, he will be taken to the at south Delhi's Lodhi Road area.

The central probe agency in a press note said the entire extradition operation was conducted under the guidance of and coordination of interim CBI

A team lead by had been to to extradite James, who has been avoiding criminal proceedings in in case.

The action comes after the in UAE had in November upheld a lower court order which said that Michel could be extradited to

According to the report, James was kept under detention at the Police's (CID) as per the Indian government's request. The extradition is undertaken in coordination with the and the CID.

James is one of three middlemen being probed in the case by the CBI and the (ED) in connection with the scam.

In January, the ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities for extraditing James. Both the ED and the CBI had filed chargesheets in bribery cases in Indian courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued against the accused.

Last year, a Red Corner notice was issued against James by the on a request by the CBI. RCNs were also issued against two Italians involved in the scam -- and

According to Indian investigative agencies, James had received at least Rs 235 crore for ensuring that the chopper contract went to He was a frequent visitor to India, having undertaken 300 trips to this country between 1997 and 2013.

The ED officials earlier had said that bribes to James were paid through a web of companies located abroad and in on the pretext of payment for consultancy work. James also used his Dubai-based firm as a conduit for money.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had named former S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF and as the four Indians involved in the scam.

The chargesheet mentioned Khaitan as the "brain" behind the deal.

Others named in the chargesheet included Giuseppe Orsi, the former of Italian defence and Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former of AgustaWestland, apart from middlemen James, Haschke and Gerosa.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled 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 on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI, which registered an FIR in the case on March 12, 2013, had alleged that Tyagi and the other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help it win the contract.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 23:20 IST