Christian Michel is the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.
New Delhi: Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, has been extradited to India and arrived late last night in Delhi. Michel was arrested in UAE last year on the basis of an Interpol notice and was out on bail. Here are 10 Points On AgustaWestland Deal and Christian Michael's Alleged Role:
- The case involves a 3,600-crore contract for the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters to be used by top Indian leaders like the President, Prime Minister, former PMs and other VIPs.
- The deal with Italy-based helicopter-maker AgustaWestland was signed by the previous Manmohan Singh government in 2007.
- Christian Michel, a British national, is one of the three middlemen being investigated over charges of organising bribes to push the deal with decision-makers in India.
- Italian prosecutors suspect bribes worth about 10 percent of the contract, or some 55 million euros, were paid.
- The chopper contract was scrapped in 2013 amid allegations that AgustaWestland, whose parent company is UK-based Finmeccanica, paid kickbacks in India amounting to Rs 362 crore.
- A former Indian Air Force chief, SP Tyagi, is also an accused in the case. He has been charged by Indian investigators with taking bribes to tweak chopper specs on the contract to help AgustaWestland at the instance of his cousins.
- In 2016, SP Tyagi, 72, became the first ever military chief to be arrested.
- The Congress alleges that the chopper investigation has been ramped up in an attempt to target its top leaders in election season, mainly to deflect attention from the Rafale deal controversy.
- The BJP says the case could spell "serious trouble" for the "first family" of Congress, referring to its chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.
- In Italy, the former head of AgustaWestland and of parent company Finmeccanica were given jail sentences in 2014 over the scandal but they were later acquitted.