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UK seeks information from India on Christian Michel extradition

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The on Wednesday said it has sought urgent information from on the circumstances surrounding the detention and of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper scam case, who is facing allegations of bribery.

The businessman, a British national, was arrested in the UAE and extradited to on Tuesday night.

Michel, who was the alleged middleman in the graft-tainted chopper deal during the UPA rule, was sent to five-day CBI custody by a special CBI court in New Delhi, a day after he was extradited from the UAE.

"Our staff continue to support the family of a British man following his detention in the UAE," said a for the UK's (FCO).

"We are in contact with his family and the Emirati authorities regarding his case, and are urgently seeking information from the Indian authorities on his circumstances," the said.

Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides and Carlo Gerosa, by the (ED) and the CBI.

Michel has denied all charges and alleged that the CBI wants him to take the names of the Gandhi family, a claim which had been refuted by the central probe agency.

CBI D P Singh said in court that Michel was required for custodial interrogation to unearth the "deep rooted conspiracy" and the money trail in the case.

His custody was required to identify Michel's accomplices including the (IAF) officials, bureaucrats and politicians, who were influenced or were instrumental in changing the decisions, which made Anglo-Italian company eligible to participate in the bidding process and to ultimately secure the deal, Singh argued.

has since scrapped the contract with Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks by it for securing the deal. The deal, initialled in 2010, was scrapped on January 1, 2014.

In the court, the was informed by the CBI that its investigation showed Michel had entered into 12 contracts through two of his firms -- M/s and Commerce Ltd, and M/s Global Services FZE, Dubai, UAE, with M/s Finmeccanica, M/s AgustaWestland, M/s Westland Helicopters, UK and others.

The has also sought consular access to Michel.

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

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 23:15 IST