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Chopper scam: Michel seeks bail from court

Chopper scam: Michel seeks bail from court

New Delhi: Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam, moved a court here on Wednesday seeking bail in cases filed by the CBI and the ED.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to both the agencies and directed them to file their response by August 19, when the court will hear the matter.

In his plea, Michel said the investigation regarding him was over and no useful purpose would be served by keeping him in further incarceration.

"The evidence in the present case is primarily and predominantly documentary in nature and is already in their (agencies') custody/possession or filed before the court. "Furthermore, it is clear that nothing stands to be recovered or discovered at the instance of the accused herein," the plea said.

No particular materials were produced before the court till date to substantiate the allegation levelled against him, Michel said. He further said he would be available to join the probe as and when required. "Applicant will continue to remain available for investigation. It is submitted that there is no scope for any doubt or apprehension with regard to the applicant's availability in future before this court. "Applicant has made no attempt to suborn the witnesses, tamper with the documentary evidence or, in any other manner, pollute or obstruct the judicial process," the application said.

Michel, a British national, was taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 5 last year after his extradition from Dubai, while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took him into custody on December 22 last year. He is currently in judicial custody in both the cases. Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the Rs 3,600-crore chopper scam by the two central agencies. Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa are the other two.

The agencies had told the court Michel made 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the now scrapped AgustaWestland deal. The CBI has alleged that the deal signed in February 2010 to supply VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros caused an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the state exchequer.

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