December 10: Delhi's Patiala House Court Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar today granted CBI 5 more days to interrogate Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in Rs. 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
He was produced before the Court today as his five-day custodial interrogation granted on December 5, expired today.
During the course of proceedings, the probing agency informed the Court that Michel is not cooperating with the investigation and sought his remand for the next nine days.
However, counsel appearing for Michel opposed CBI's plea for further custody stating that no incriminating evidence has been shown by the agency to Michel till now.
Amidst all this, Michel has moved a fresh bail application.
Michel is an accused in a scam that took place during the UPA rule and extradited to India for the same from the United Arab Emirates on December 4.
Michel is accused of entering into a criminal conspiracy with co-accused persons, including the then IAF chief SP Tyagi and his kin.
Christian Michel was professedly hired by AgustaWestland for the purpose of influencing top officials in IAF and the-then UPA government in order to bag the Rs. 3,600 crore deal for the company.
The issue dates back to 2010, when the Congress-led UPA government, entered into a contract with AgustaWestland, a UK-based helicopter manufacturing company in order to purchase 12 AW- 101 helicopters for the Indian Air Force(IAF) for Rs 3,600 crore. The helicopters were supposed for the Communication Squadron of Indian Air Force to carry the President, Prime Minister and other VVIPs. However, the deal later landed into a controversy, following which, in 2014, India scrapped the contract with AgustaWestland for supplying VVIP choppers over breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs. 423 crore paid by it to win the deal.
The ED registered a case in 2014 and had named 21 people, including a former IAF chief. During the course of an investigation, it connected the dots of the money trail that was used to route the kickbacks to the beneficiaries of the scam.
The CBI was also pursuing the case and arrested former Indian Air Force Chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in 2017.
The probing agencies ED, as well as CBI, probed that besides Michel, other two alleged middleman are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa are also having involvement in the deal.