India has approached UK for extradition of AgustaWestland middleman | india | Hindustan Times
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India has approached UK for extradition of AgustaWestland middleman

india Updated: Apr 29, 2016 06:59 IST
Christian Michel

The AgustaWestland chopper deal has been Parliament’s talking point this week.(PTI)

India has “approached” Britain for extraditing Christian Michel , a businessman named by Italian investigators as a middleman in swinging the controversial deal for AgustaWestland choppers.

V K Singh, minister of state for external Affairs, told the Rajya Sabha British authorities are considering India’s request. “Yes, government of India has approached the government of the United Kingdom for extradition of Christian Michel to India in connection with the AgustaWestland helicopter scam,” he said, replying to a question.

The controversial deal and the alleged bribes to the tune of Rs 120 crore paid in clinching it for AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, has triggered a political slugfest between BJP and Congress after an Italian court cited handwritten references to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Air Chief S P Tyagi by the middleman in a judgement that convicted the helicopter company’s chief executive.

Michel, 54, is among three non-Indian middlemen who were accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Directorate in their separate probes of taking commissions worth €70 million from AgustaWestland to bribe Indians who helped “ink the deal”.

These middlemen were accused of ensuring that key technical specifications were tweaked in a manner that let AW bag the contract in 2010 pipping American-Russian rivals. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance governed India then.

India has “approached” Britain for extraditing Christian Michel, a businessman named by Italian investigators as a middleman in swinging the controversial deal for AgustaWestland choppers.

V K Singh, minister of state for external Affairs, told the Rajya Sabha British authorities are considering India’s request. “Yes, government of India has approached the government of the United Kingdom for extradition of Christian Michel to India in connection with the AgustaWestland helicopter scam,” he said, replying to a question.

The controversial deal and the alleged bribes to the tune of Rs 120 crore paid in clinching it for AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, has triggered a political slugfest between BJP and Congress after an Italian court cited handwritten references to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Air Chief S P Tyagi by the middleman in a judgement that convicted the helicopter company’s chief executive.

Michel, 54, is among three non-Indian middlemen who were accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Directorate in their separate probes of taking commissions worth €70 million from AgustaWestland to bribe Indians who helped “ink the deal”.

These middlemen were accused of ensuring that key technical specifications were tweaked in a manner that let AW bag the contract in 2010 pipping American-Russian rivals. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance governed India then.