Christian Michel made 25 trips to crack AgustaWestland deal: CBI in first chargesheet
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its first charge sheet in the AgustaWestland bribery case, filed in September last year, alleged Chrisitan Michel through his companies - Global Services FZE (Dubai) and Global Trade and Commerce Services (London) -received Euro 42.27 million in the garb of service and consultancy contracts from Finmeccanica in 2010-11.
The chargesheet says that when the Agusta deal was being signed, Michel visited India 25 times and stayed in Hotel Ashoka and The Claridges in Delhi, and Windsor Manor in Bengaluru.
It also alleged that on April 10, 2008, Michel sent a report from Mumbai to Giuseppe Orsi and other officers of AgustaWestland saying that Augusta had succeeded in flight trials, distancing itself from the competition.
But, according to the chargesheet, he warned that if commercial bids of Sikorsky (the competition) were also opened, Agusta would be in trouble since Sikorsky would submit a competitive bid. “He further reported that he was consciously and deliberately trying to disqualify the competition at that stage only so that the financial bids of Sikorsky are not opened,” says the charge sheet.
CBI investigators said their probe revealed that Sikorsky was disqualified during trials and its commercial bid submitted to the ministry of defence in February 2007 was not opened. CBI’s investigations revealed that Sikorsky had quoted Rs 2,228 crore for the supply of 12 choppers while Agusta quoted Rs 3,966 crore.
The agency alleged that Michel hatched a conspiracy with a few others to disqualify Sikorsky during the field trials.It added that Michel, while acting as middleman in the deal, procured confidential documents and secret information from the defence ministry and the Indian Air Force (IAF) and sent these to Agusta executives through one of his associates in Mumbai. The documents included evaluation report of S-92 chopper and the contents of a technical committee report of the IAF prepared in February 2007.
He also had information about movement of files of the deal.