Augusta ‘middleman’ extradited to India

Augusta ‘middleman’ extradited to India
Christian Michel James in CBI custody, Wednesday.
NEW DELHI, DEC 5 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/5/2018 11:56:34 AM IST

British national Christian Michel James, the middleman wanted in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was brought to India late Tuesday night following his extradition by the UAE.

The UAE authorities sent him to New Delhi on a private jet. Michel landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on a Gulfstream jet at 2235 hours.

Christian Michel James was on Wednesday remanded to five days CBI custody by a Delhi court, which rejected the agency’s plea for 14 days custody. Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to quiz the middleman till December 10.

Special Public Prosecutor D.P. Singh told the court that James had got classified material and the agency needed to interrogate him to know who were the officers involved in supplying these classified documents to him.

The prosecutor also told the court that they have recovered two handwritten notes related to bribe money - including one written by James himself in which he mentions about his 5 per cent commission to fix the deal.

Michel’s counsel Aljo K. Joseph vehemently opposed the remand application saying there was no need for police custody and that none of the documents had been produced in any international court.

Michel’s counsel Joseph and Vishnu Sankar moved bail application assuring that he will follow every condition imposed by the court if released on bail.

The defence counsel told the court that the probe agency had already seized the documents related to the case and investigation was almost complete in the case.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Anil Dhasmana and India’s ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, also played key roles, the officials said. The operation code-named ‘Unicorn’ was carried out under the guidance of Doval and being coordinated by interim CBI Director M Nageswar Rao, a CBI spokesperson, Abhishek Dayal, said.
“Under the guidance of Doval, the entire operation is being coordinated by in-charge Director CBI M Nageswara Rao,” he added. Last month, the Dubai Cassation Court effectively ended the legal challenge to Michel’s extradition by upholding an appellate court’s decision to extradite him though he pleaded ‘not guilty’.
‘Middleman’ will spill secrets: PM
Tom-tomming his government’s success in the extradition of Christian Michel, a “middleman” in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the British national, who has taken UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s name, will spill the beans on the deal during the UPA government’s tenure.
He also said that the government succeeded in the Supreme Court when it said the government had all the right to reassess the past income tax returns of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who have been claiming that their assessment is “final” after doing “loot”. “Let us see, how long will you escape (in the case),” he said.
Modi also hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra, saying he will not be spared once the BJP forms the government in the state and said a similar fate would also befell former minister P. Chidambaram.
Addressing an election meeting at Sumerpur, Rajasthan, Modi used the “namdaar” jibe and said those leaders, whose four generations ruled the country, had to knock the doors of court and were out on bail and would not be spared.
 “You must have read in today’s newspapers about VVIP helicopter scam of thousands of crore. You would be aware about a letter of Madam Sonia Gandhi. When we came to power to find out the files. We kept searching for it and finally found a ‘razdar’ (one who knows all secrets).
He was a middleman of England, who was living in Dubai. He used to serve the friends of ‘namdaar’ in Dubai. The government has brought him to India.

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