A Delhi court on Saturday granted a further extension to the CBI regarding custody of Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam, by four days.
The agency, however, sought a 5-day extension of custody from the Judge, so that they could further interrogate Michel with the materials gathered by the agency.
Michel was produced before the court on Saturday citing expiry of his custody granted on December 10.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Court that Christian Michel had spent Rs. 92 lakhs for facilitating the travel of Indian Air Force officials amid 2009 and 2013 and it requires Michel's custody in order to confront him with the documents related to a contract of worth 18.4 million euro.
The agency additionally needs to take him to Mumbai to visit the premises of Pawan Hans India Ltd. for verifying his story regarding his alleged attempted negotiations to buy back WG-30 choppers.
The CBI likewise need him to confront officials belonging to Pawan Hans India.
However, the lawyer appearing for Michel argued that the agency had already been given sufficient time and till now no incriminating evidence was found against his client.
Earlier to this CBI sought an extension of his custody contending that Michel was not cooperating with the investigation and was evasive in giving answers.
Michel is one of the three middlemen probed in the AgustaWestland chopper case, apart from Italian Guido Haschke (US and Italian nationality) and Carlo Gerosa (Swiss and Italian nationality) and was extradited from Dubai on December 4, 2018.
Michel was allegedly involved in the act of criminal conspiracy with co-accused persons in the deal, including former Chief SP Tyagi and his family member, and the public servants who abused their official positions by reducing service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres.
The aforesaid reduction in ceiling helped AgustaWestland eligible for a 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.
However, the entire deal later landed into a controversy, following which, in 2014, India scrapped the contract with AgustaWestland over breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs. 423 crore paid by it to win the deal.