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Court sends Michel to judicial custody

‘Michel received money from other Def deals as well’

Court sends Michel to judicial custody

New Delhi: Alleged middleman Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, received money from other defence deals as well which was to be probed, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Saturday told a Delhi court, which sent the accused to judicial custody.

The agency told special judge Arvind Kumar that Michel had received 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal.

"During the interrogation, it was observed that he had also received money from other defence deals, which the ED will enquire," it said.

The ED's special public prosecutors, D P Singh and N K Matta, also told the court that the "accused has also routed money through 'hawala' operators for acquiring cash and for the purchase of property."

The ED produced Michel before the court on the expiry of his 14-day custodial interrogation and requested the court to send him to judicial custody, claiming that he might flee from justice if left free.

"The accused is a British national and has no roots in India. There is every likelihood that he may abscond from India and evade the process of law, especially in the light of his past conduct.

"He has been brought to this court through rigorous extradition proceedings. His fleeing away from justice again cannot be ruled out," the ED said.

The application was allowed by the court, which sent Michel to judicial custody till February 26.

In the CBI case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, the court sent Michel to judicial custody till February 27.

Michel, who was extradited from Dubai recently, was arrested by the ED on December 22 and since then was in the agency's custody on a court order.

The ED told the court that it had identified Michel's properties purchased with the proceeds of crime.

"He has given contradictory answers to various questions and he was not able to explain the contradiction," it said.

The agency told the court that the audit report submitted during the trial in an Italian court was appearing to be factually incorrect.

"Hence, it is required to be seen whether the Italian court had based its decision on the said audit report," it said.

The ED added that it had "investigated how cash was transferred through 'hawala' and multiple bank accounts. We have found information about other defence deals. We need to investigate the money flowing there as well. We have documents to show that they misled the Italian court".

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