Dubai Court: Christian Michel, AgustaWestland Middleman, To Be Extradited

Dubai Court: Christian Michel, AgustaWestland Middleman, To Be Extradited

Dubai Court: Christian Michel, AgustaWestland Middleman, To Be Extradited

New Delhi:  The British middleman in the scandal of AgustaWestland chopper, Christian Michel, will be extradited, a court in Dubai has ruled. Last year, Mr Michel was arrested in the UAE and was facing extradition proceedings in the country.  He is accussed of organising bribes in exchange for a contract for VVIP helicopters and is wanted in India.

The AgustaWestland is a 2007 contract signed by the government for the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters. The VVIP helicopters are for use by top leaders, including the President, Prime Minister and former prime ministers.

The contract was scrapped in 2013, amid accusations that the supplier AgustaWestland, whose parent company Finmeccanica ran into allegations of bribe-giving in Italy, had paid kickbacks in India.

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In 2016, Former Air Chief SP Tyagi, 72, was arrested over allegations that he accepted bribes to tailor specifications at the instance of his cousins. He became the first ever military chief - former or current - to be arrested.

The Congress says that once talk of kickbacks erupted in Italy, it cancelled the helicopter deal, blacklisted the company and asked the CBI to investigate the scam. It also confiscated the company's assets in India and abroad.

Earlier in July this year, the Mr Michel lawyer said he was being pressured by Indian agencies to frame Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in return for exoneration from criminal proceedings.

However, the CBI, has dissaproved the allegation and said its team had not examined him in the UAE at all.

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