“Christian Michel Got Money In Other Defence Deals,” Says Probe Agency

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The court was told that Christian Michel routed money through 'hawala' operators.

New Delhi:

Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, received money from other defence deals as well, the agency probing the British national told a Delhi court. The court has sent him to judicial custody till February 27.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that Christian Michel received 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal.

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

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The probe agency also told the court that the "accused routed money through 'hawala' operators for acquiring cash and for the purchase of property". The ED has identified the properties, it said.

The ED produced Christian Michel before the court after his 14-day custodial interrogation and requested the court to send him to judicial custody, claiming he might flee 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.

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

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

The court had restricted his meetings with his lawyers after the ED said he was misusing legal access by passing slips to them, asking them how to tackle questions on "Mrs Gandhi".

The agency added that during questioning, Christian Michel spoke about the "son of an Italian lady" and how he was going to become the next prime minister of the country.

"We also need to decipher who the ''big man'' referred to as ''R'' is in the communications between Michel and other people," the ED told the court.

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