National / World

Christian Michel slept only for 2 hours, interrogated overnight by CBI

New Delhi, Dec 6 (PTI): Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, was grilled by the CBI after he reached India and slept barely for two hours, sources said on Wednesday.

57-year-old Michel, who was extradited from Dubai on India's request, had an anxiety attack upon reaching the CBI headquarters in wee hours and doctors were called to attend to him.

After treatment, he was questioned about the money trail and identification of documents in the multi-crore rupee deal, sources said.

He was allowed to sleep for two hours between 4 am and 6 am on Wednesday before being given breakfast.

After 6 am, he was again questioned by officials of the Special Investigation Team of the CBI, they said.

Once his extradition was cleared by the UAE government, Michel was flown to India along with a CBI team led by Joint Director Sai Manohar. He landed at 22:35 pm on Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from where he was taken into CBI custody after completion of formalities.

Escorted by a small convoy of police cars and bikes, he was taken to the CBI headquarters' lockup at the ground floor of the imposing 11-floor steel and glass building where he reached around 1:20 am on Wednesday.

He was taken to the Patiala House court around 4 pm on Wednesday which sent him to five days CBI custody.

The CBI wants to question him to confront him with certain documents and confidential material which he allegedly had sent to his masters in Italy through fax, the agency claimed. It also wants to know how the money, Euro 42.27 million, which was received by Michel's companies from Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, was distributed further to establish money trail of alleged bribes paid to swing the Rs 3,600 crore 12-helicopter deal for VVIP flights, it said.

The agency has alleged that Michel has evaded any probe in the matter which puts him on a different pedestal than Guido Haschke -- another middleman -- who faced trial in Italy and entered in plea bargain.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet against him in September last year.

"An open non-bailable arrest warrant dated September 24, 2015, was issued by the special judge, CBI cases, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi," CBI's spokesperson said.

On the basis of this warrant, a Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol which led to his arrest in Dubai in February 2017, he said.

Michel was behind bars in Dubai since he was arrested and sent to custody pending the legal and judicial procedure in the UAE. After the courts cleared his extradition, the UAE government ordered him to be taken to India rejecting his plea that he was a British citizen.

It was alleged that he had entered into a criminal conspiracy with co-accused persons, which included the then IAF chief SP Tyagi and his family members, and the public servants had abused their official positions by reducing service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6,000 m to 4,500 m.

The reduction in ceiling made AgustaWestland eligible for contract worth 556.262 million Euros, which was awarded to it by the Defence Ministry on February 08, 2010, for procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (approximately Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.

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Comment on this article

  • Lobo, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    He at least had 2 hours sleep, while many haven't slept only.It is a nightmare for many congi politicians and brokers.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    You never seem to have read that the code word 'The Family' refers to Thyagis, not Gandhis as I dreaded until Christian Michel extradited from UAE and appeared before CBI.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya, Belman / Washington,DC

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Correct...AP in his diary means Andhra Pradesh...not Ahmed Patel...Who knows, may be Ajji Patler too...


    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Why is BJP not willing to probe Rafael ...

    DisAgree [18] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    They want only 2 words coming out of his Mouth - Rajeev or Sonia ...

    DisAgree [14] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    How much has Modi spent already for getting this RS. 423 crores ? Well, not to get it back but to prove that its paid to Gandhi family ? You should instead mind how much NiMo, LaMo, Choksey and Mallya have robbed.

    There is no bigger fool than Modi in the entire nation. What do you want, Narendra Damodardas Modi ? PM Kursi ? You have it. At-lease leave Indians alone - use our taxes for netter purpose than your world tour, mushrooms and royal attire.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Michael, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    That is politics.
    As far as taxes are concerned, they are bieng spent better than the UPA govt.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    How much do you want me to believe you ? Please explain just two examples :

    UPA sold LPG cylinder for Rs. 300/-
    BJP for Rs. 1,000/-

    UPA sold Petrol for Rs. 40/-
    BJP for Rs. 75/-

    Awaiting your explanation.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Karthik Karkera, Maryhill Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Jenifer, get your figures right, please check the petrol price in 2013 it was 81 rupees in Bangalore. Not 40 rupees.
    Also subsidized Cylinder cost today is 500 rupees not 1000, people get back around 450 rupees subsidy to their account .

    DisAgree [8] Agree [9] Report Abuse

  • Michael, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    These are facts from the oil companies website.
    where did you get Rs 40 figure from?that was 2009 prices, not 2014.
    On May 16, 2014, when the UPA ceded office to the NDA, the price of petrol in Delhi was Rs 71.41 per litre.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Report Abuse

  • Michael, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    LPG cylinders are sold at two different rates across the country. One, which is the subsidized rate, the other, is the non-subsidized rate where people have started giving up their subsidies voluntarily since the Prime Minister had urged people to do so.
    the prices of subsidized LPG in Delhi, one sees that in December 2013, the price of LPG was Rs 414
    the subsidized price of LPG in Delhi as on 7th November 2018 is 507.42.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [7] Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    What subsidy you are talking about man ? We get 150/- 250/- as subsidy subject to prevailing rate. Still it doesn't explain the difference of 900/- Rupees in rates offered by present and previous govt.

    Moreover, the poor who could not opt between retain/forgo the subsidy, randomly pressed yes/no button but regretted later on knowing that they have give up the subsidy. Nevertheless, your greedy government has no method to undo it or reset it. Meanwhile Modi boasted about the number of people to have give up subsidy.

    Your explanation doesn't meet the expectations. Back to square one - UPA handled better with the taxes, not your BJP big belly greedy government.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [6] Report Abuse

  • Jacob Mendonsa, Bangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Michael, U mean to say spending on Statues & spending about RS.40,000/-(forty thousand )Crore for printing new currency notes is money well spent is it?

    DisAgree [8] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    change your fake name michael

    DisAgree [8] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sharun, Banglore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    In 2013 petrol price was 78 Rs. Now it is 72 Rs......You decide who is better.....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    in 2013 petrol & diesel were not @ da top rs.70/= u blind man?????????

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Report Abuse


    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Jenifer seems you are not happy this guy bought to india.
    pls try to learn to appriciate good work.
    dont be biased to any party.
    At the end of the day no politicians is of anyones.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    No, Aniketh, I am very happy that he is brought to India so that 'The Family' that the investigators found in his notes is now clarified to be the Thyagis, not the Gandhis.

    As for keeping him safe is in the hands of govt but the cost comes from me too. Lets see how long the government keeps him without even a bed bug/mosquito bite or the polluted air of Delhi for which India is answerable.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Wish the other corrupt family members involved in this Augusta Westland Multi Crore scam are also interrogated like this

    DisAgree [8] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Mera Chain Bain Sab Ujda, Jaalim Nazar Hata Le!
    This middle man should be thoroughly questioned till he tells the truth..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Thu, Dec 6 2018

    Depriving a person of sleep is an old tactic - as a sleep-deprived person speaks truth readily.

    But people forget something really simple.

    The money Christian Michel is accused of using for commissions etc was a mere 240 crores.

    Compare this to the situation of fraudster Gujjus who escaped after borrowing tens of thousands of crores of Indian taxpayer money.

    The Government of the Gujju-bhai erected the Patel statue costing 7,250 crores of Indian money.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

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