VVIP Chopper Scam: Michel Seeks Inquiry Over Solitary Confinement
Christian James Michel is the alleged middleman wanted in India in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
Christian James Michel is the alleged middleman wanted in India in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

VVIP Chopper Scam: Michel Seeks Inquiry Over Solitary Confinement

Days after a Delhi court lashed out at Tihar jail authorities for not justifying reasons behind shifting Christian Michel to high security ward, Michel is seeking judicial inquiry, reported ANI.

Michel was arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar earlier had stated that Michel had been lodged in jail for last 70 days and questioned his sudden shift.

The court on Tuesday, 26 February, extended judicial custody of alleged middleman Christian Michel by one day, as reported by PTI.

Snapshotclose

  • Rajiv Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, a Dubai-based accountant and corporate lobbyist, was wanted in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper case
  • Lobbyist Deepak Talwar was wanted by the ED and the CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the foreign funding route
  • On 5 January, Delhi’s Patiala House Court had sent co-accused Christian Michel to judicial custody till 26 February

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Who is Christian Michel?

Christian Michel is a well-known British consultant who was very active in the Indian defence sector. It was alleged that he was hired by AgustaWestland to facilitate the deal for the supply of 12 helicopters to India in 2010.

In its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, the ED had alleged that he received 30 million euros (approximately Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland as “kickbacks” to execute the deal and to make it look like a genuine transaction.

KEY EVENT

Christian Michel Extradited to India

Christian Michel was extradited to India on Tuesday, 4 December.

Michel was brought to New Delhi on board an aircraft of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) at around 10.45 pm from Dubai. He had left Dubai on Monday, 3 December, accompanied by a team of doctors and officials to ensure he stays fit.

KEY EVENT

Christian Michel to be Produced in Court

Michel will be produced before the Patiala House court post 12 pm.

The Dubai government had passed an administrative order, paving the way for the extradition on Tuesday, and the Indian authorities were there to complete the final formalities. Michel is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI.

Michel’s lawyer Rosemary Patrizi had said that there was no evidence against him.

What is the Agustawestland Deal?

In February 2010, the Indian government signed a Rs 3,546-crore contract with AgustaWestland.

Finmeccanica, the parent company, beat S-92 Superhawk (US) to bag the deal.

India was to receive 12 AW101 AgustaWestland choppers for the IAF. Eight of these were to transport the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President and other VVIPs, while four others would be used for other duties. In late 2012, the first fleet of AW101s reached India, with two more following soon after.

I Am Offering to Pay 100%: Vijay Mallya

In the wake of Christian Michel’s extradition, embattled businessman Vijay Mallya tweeted that his extradition case will take its own course.

Former Air Chief SP Tyagi Refuses to Speak to Media

Former Indian Air Force Chief SP Tyagi, who was granted bail earlier in September in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland deal, refused to speak to media outside his residence.

Questioning Continues at CBI Headquarters

Questioning of alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland deal continues at CBI headquarters, reported ANI.

Congress Leader Hanumantha Rao Hits Out at PM Modi

Speaking to CNN-News18, Congress leader Hanumantha Rao asks why the prime minister is not interested in the Rafale deal the way he has showed interest in the VVIP chopper scam.

He alleges that this is a ploy by the government to malign the image of the Opposition.

Salman Khurshid Attacks CBI

Taking a jibe at the CBI, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said on 4 December, “The other countries involved in the matter have finished their proceedings and come to the conclusion that there is nothing against these people. Now I hope they (the CBI) have their facts and figures in place to be able to persuade the court in the country.”

Michel to be Produced Before Judge Arvind Kumar

Christian Michel will be produced before Special Judge Arvind Kumar at the Patiala House Court in Delhi, reported ANI.

No Evidence Against Christian Michel: Rosemary Patrizi

Speaking to CNN-News18, Christian Michel’s lawyer Rosemary Patrizi, said that there was no evidence against him.

“Back here in Milan, we had five degrees of proceedings (in the investigation) and we found no evidence. India was also a part of the proceedings and could’ve submitted any evidence... but, there isn’t any. No one could find anything against him.”

Extradition of Christian Michel a Shot in the Arm for BJP: GVL Narsimha

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, “Extradition of Christian Michel is a shot in the arm for the Narendra Modi government. Now that he will be available to the CBI, the 'real' bribe-receivers of the AgustaWestland bribes scandal will be exposed.”

Claiming that Michel was “known to be a Gandhi-family loyalist”, Rao said “his extradition and custody could spell serious trouble for the Congress' first family”.

The Congress has however denied all allegations against its leaders in connection with the deal.

"Diplomatic Victory" for BJP: Nalin Kohli

Terming it a “diplomatic victory” for the Modi government, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, "The country is entitled to know the truth on who were the bribe-receivers in India. Certainly, we are closer to know the truth.”

It is also a confirmation that the efforts made by the India side before the courts in Dubai were serious and based on sound legal arguments, Kohli said.

But, above all, he added, it was an unequivocal affirmation of the Modi government's “seriousness in fighting corruption”.

How is Nabbing Christian Michel Wrong, Asks Amit Shah

Addressing a rally in poll-bound Rajasthan, BJP chief Amit Shah hit out at the Congress and asked if the grand old alliance wanted to save the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.

“Opposition has no other issue, what is wrong if we nabbed the middleman? Does the opposition want to save him? (sic),” Shah added.

Visuals: Christian Michel Extradited to India

Now This Middleman Will Disclose the Secrets: PM Modi

Speaking on the extradition of Christian Michel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Indian government has got the middleman in the AgustaWestland deal and now he will reveal the secrets.

KEY EVENT

CBI Gets 5-Day Custody of Christian Michel, Bail Plea Pending

The CBI on Wednesday, 5 December, got five-day custody of alleged middleman Christian Michel in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case.

Michel had moved a bail plea, but the court kept it pending for the next hearing and remanded him to CBI custody.

The CBI had originally sought a 14-day custody at Delhi's Patiala House Court.

Judge Arvind Kumar allowed Michel's lawyer to speak to him twice a day for an hour each in the morning and the evening for consultancy.

The CBI reportedly said they have information of classified material and have to find out the details regarding the money trail, the people involved, and where the money was spent and who received it. It sought his custody "as money was transferred in two Dubai-based accounts".

We need his (Michel) police custody to confront him with some important documents.” 
CBI counsel DP Singh before the CBI Special Court

Michel was being represented by Aljo J Joseph in the court.

Christian Michel Complained of Anxiety During Questioning: CBI Sources

Alleged middleman Christian Michel complained of anxiety during questioning by the CBI on Wednesday, 5 December, after which he was given medicine, ANI reported citing agency sources.

KEY EVENT

Lawyer Representing Michel is In-Charge of Indian Youth Congress' Legal Dept

Aljo K Joseph, the lawyer representing Christian Michel in the CBI Special Court on Wednesday, is national in-charge of the legal department of the Indian Youth Congress, as per his Twitter profile.

He reportedly affirmed that he was from the Congress when asked by journalists about the same.

KEY EVENT

Cong Has Made Its Position Clear in AgustaWestland Case Earlier: Rahul Gandhi

When asked about the AgustaWestland case in Hyderabad, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the party has made its position very clear in the matter earlier in a press conference.

“The Prime Minister should explain why he gave Rs 30,000 crore on Rafale to Mr Anil Ambani.”
Rahul Gandhi, as quoted by ANI
KEY EVENT

'My Relation With Congress and My Profession Are Separate': Christian Michel's Lawyer

Speaking to the media after representing Christian Michel at Delhi's Patiala House Court on Wednesday, 5 December, lawyer Aljo K Joseph affirmed that he holds the position of national in-charge of the Indian Youth Congress legal department, but maintained that he appeared for his client in his professional capacity.

“I’m an actively practicing advocate. I appeared for him (Christian Michel) in my professional capacity... I’ve only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with Congress. My relation with Congress is separate and my profession is separate.”
Aljo K Joseph, Christian Michel’s Lawyer

Joseph went on to say that he was just assisting Christian Michel in the matter.

ED Likely to File Supplementary Charge Sheet in AgustaWestland Case

The Enforcement Directorate is likely to file a supplementary charge sheet in the AgustaWestland chopper case, reported ANI.

KEY EVENT

Indian Youth Congress Expels Christian Michel's Lawyer From Party

The Indian Youth Congress on Wednesday, 5 December, said it has expelled Aljo K Joseph, the lawyer representing Christian Michel, from the party and removed him from IYC's Legal Department with immediate effect.

“Aljo K Joseph appeared (for Christian Michel’s hearing) in his personal capacity. He did not consult the Youth Congress before appearing in the case. IYC does NOT endorse such actions.”
Amrish Ranjan Pandey, IYC National Spokesperson

Christian Michel's Lawyer Had Met Congress General Secy Earlier

Earlier on Wednesday, Aljo K Joseph, the lawyer representing Christian Michel, was seen meeting Congress General Secretary Deepak Babaria at the party headquarters.

The Indian Youth Congress later expelled Joseph from the party and removed him from IYC's Legal Department with immediate effect.

Babaria had also spoken to Republic TV earlier, wherein he refuted the linkages being drawn between Christian Michel and the Congress.

“He is the worker of the youth Congress. That all I don’t know, I just know he helps us out in our payments. I don’t know if he appearing for someone in his professional capacity. I don’t have anything to do with it. There is no Congress link. He is working in his professional capacity [sic].”
Deepak Babaria, as quoted by Republic TV
KEY EVENT

British High Commission Seeks Christian Michel’s Consular Access

British High Commission has asked the Indian government to provide them with consular access to alleged AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel, reported ANI.

The news agency reported quoting sources that the Indian Government has received the request and is currently examining the matter.

Other than Aljo Joseph, there are two other lawyers of #ChristianMichel , Vishnu Shankar who is the son of a Kerala Congress leader and Sriram Parakkat who has been an NSUI member. All 3 have worked under big Cong lawyers like Salman Khurshid and Kapil Sibal

Aljo Joseph Leaves From CBH Headquarters After Meeting Christian Michel

Aljo Joseph, lawyer of alleged middleman Christian Michel, has left from the CBI headquarters after meeting him.

Congress is Rattled With Christian Michel's Extradition: Sambit Patra

BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra hit out at the Congress party and said that the party is rattled after Christian Michel’s extradition.

“They sent their team to save Michel. Congress's Aljo Joseph appeared for him in Court, they later went through the charade of removing him. The family in Congress is getting sleepless nights.”

Patra further alleged that other than Joseph, there are two other lawyers – Vishnu Shankar who is the son of a Kerala Congress leader and Sriram Parakkat who has been an NSUI member – defending Michel.

Major Diplomatic Win for India: MEA

Calling Christian Michel’s arrest a major diplomatic win for India, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was an example of cooperation between India and UAE.

“After following all due process and after exhausting of all judicial processes, Christian Michel was extradited to India. The matter is being handled by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This is an example of cooperation between India UAE,” he said.

CBI Questioning of Michel Underway

Questioning of Christian Michel regarding AgustaWestland is underway, CBI spokesperson confirmed.

The spokesperson also said that CBI has received consular access of Michel through MEA, ANI reported. His lawyer met with him on Thursday, 6 December, in the CBI headquarters.

CBI to Demand Further Custody: Sources

The CBI will demand further custody of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in AgustaWestland case, reported ANI, quoting sources. Michel’s five-day custody ends on Monday, 10 December.

CBI Seeks 9-Day Remand of Christian Michel

The CBI has sought a 9-day remand of the alleged middleman, Christian Michel, in AgustaWestland deal, reported ANI. Meanwhile, Michel has moved a fresh bail plea in CBI Special Court.

Further, the CBI has said that Christian Michel is not cooperating in the investigation.

CBI Gets 5-Day Custody of Christian Michel

The CBI Special Court has sent Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland deal, to 5 days of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remand, reported ANI.

CBI said, “We need to confront him with LR (letters rogatory) that have been received from five countries and Christian Michel didn’t co-operate with Italian investigation in the case.”

CBI Agrees to Give British High Commission Consular Access to Michel

CBI has agreed to give British High Commission access to Christian Michel, reported ANI.

“We have already been approached by British counselors. We have allowed their plea of keeping their own counsel,” the CBI said.

CBI Court Fixes 30 Minutes for Michel's Counsel to Visit Him

CBI Special Court has fixed 30 minutes time, both in morning and evening every day, for the counsel of Christian Michel.

CBI wanted the counsel to visit only once a day

I Respect Both Italian, Indian justices: Ex-Italy PM on AgustaWestland Case

Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has said that the judgment made by an Italian court to acquit two former Leonardo (earlier Finmeccanica) executives in the case should be respected worldwide.

In January this year, a Milan appeals court gave a clean chit to Giuseppe Orsi, former president of Leonardo, and the former head of the subsidiary AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini for want of evidence. Orsi and Spagnolini were accused of bribing Indian officials and make false billings, in order to obtain the 556-million euro contract (Rs 3,600 crore) for around 12 helicopters in India.

Responding to news agency ANI in a letter, Letta said, "We have to take into account that the decision was a total exoneration. So, I hope that the future will be better and as I respect the decisions of Italian justice, I also respect the decisions of Indian justice. Our democracies are based on the independence of judges. Those who have political responsibilities, they have to respect this independence."

CBI Seeks Custody of Christian Michel For another 5 Days

CBI, on Saturday, 15 December, asked for a five-day extension Christian Michel’s custody.

The agency wants Michel to confront with some documents and witnesses, ANI reported.

Rosemary Patrizi, the lawyer representing Christian Michel for almost five years now, arrived in Delhi’s Patiala House Court earlier in the day. She told the court that she has some more documents regarding the case that she wants to submit in the court.

CBI Court Extends Michel's Custody by 4 Days

The CBI court on Saturday, 15 December, further extended Christian Michel's CBI custody by four days, Bar and Bench reported.

The CBI had asked for a five-day extension of Michel’s custody.

Court Refuses Lawyer Rosemary Patrizi's Request to Meet Michel

The CBI court on Saturday refused to allow lawyer Rosemary Patrizi to meet Christian Michel, along with Aljo K Joseph, the lawyer representing the alleged middleman, ANI reported.

Court to Hear Michel's Bail Application on 19 Dec

The court will hear Christian Michel’s bail application next on Wednesday, 19 December, reported Bar and Bench.

The CBI court on Saturday, 15 December, extended Michel’s custody by four days.

Consular Access for Michel Under Consideration of MEA: CBI Tells Court

The CBI counsel informed the court that consular access for Christian Michel is already under consideration of Ministry of External Affairs, reported ANI.

I'm Afraid They Will Arrest Me: Rosemary Patrizi

Christian Michel's lawyer, Rosemary Patrizi, told the media that she fears she will be arrested as well.

“I’m afraid they’ll arrest me because I know everything about Christian Michel. I hope nothing bad happens to me, I came here to help. I hope I can go back and be at my home on Christmas.”
Patrizi told media.

CBI Opposes Bail Christian Michel’s Bail Plea

The CBI on Wednesday, 19 December, opposed the bail plea of alleged middleman Christian Michel in Delhi's Patiala House Court.

Michel Cooperating With Investigation, But Has Become Weak: Lawyer

Michel’s lawyer, Aljo K Joseph, submitted before Patiala House Court that Michel was cooperating in the investigation, but has become weak.

“He has become weak since he was also in custody in Dubai for 5 months on CBI's request. We are ready for any condition of bail. You have already granted bail to other accused,” said Joseph.

The lawyer also claimed that Michel was suffering from Dyslexia and that he has been asked to write in “cursive” style.

Michel Tried to Run Away From Dubai Before Extradition: CBI

The CBI told Patiala House Court in Delhi that Christian Michel’s reach was “so wide”, he could "try and remove evidence. The agency also claimed that he tried to run away from Dubai before his extradition.

"Christian Michel’s reach is so wide and he is so influential that he could try and remove evidence. He was making efforts to run away from Dubai just before his extradition,” the CBI told the court.

Patiala House Court Reserves Order on Bail Plea for 22 Dec

Patiala House Court has reserved the order on the bail plea of Christian Michel for Saturday, 22 December.

Christian Michel Moves Delhi Court for Special Cell in Tihar

Alleged Agusta Westland middleman Christian Michel has moved an application before Delhi's Patiala House Court seeking a special cell in Tihar jail.

KEY EVENT

Court Issues Production Warrant Against Michel, Tells Jail to Produce Tomorrow

Delhi's Patiala House Court has issued a production warrant against alleged Agusta Westland middleman Christian Michel.

The court has also directed the Tihar Jail authorities to produce Michel on Saturday, 22 December, ANI reported.

This comes after the Enforcement Directorate has moved a plea in the Court seeking a production warrant.

KEY EVENT

Delhi Court Seeks Reply From Tihar Jail Authorities on Michel's Plea

A Delhi court on Friday, 21 December, asked the Tihar jail authorities to respond to a plea by Christian Michel, seeking to be lodged in a separate cell there.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar was hearing Michel's application filed through advocate Aljo K Joseph and Vishnu Shankar, seeking a direction to the "Superintendent of Tihar Jail to allocate a separate cell to accused Christian James Michel".

Delhi Court Directs CBI to Cancel Look Out Circular Against Ex-IAF Chief

A Delhi court on Friday, directed the CBI to cancel the look out circular (LOC) issued against former IAF chief SP Tyagi, who is an accused in the VVIP chopper scam.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the probe agency to inform the concerned authorities about it.

CBI had issued LOC against Tyagi in 2013. It is a circular issued by the authorities to check if a person who is travelling is wanted by the law enforcement agencies.

The CBI on 1 September 2017, had filed a charge-sheet in the case in which Tyagi and British national Christian Michel were named as accused along with others.

Eight others were also named in the charge-sheet in connection with a bribery case in the VVIP chopper deal.

(PTI)

ED Seeks Michel's Custody

Special judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate Michel inside the courtroom for 15 minutes after the agency sought agency sought his custodial interrogation.

ED also sought to arrest the British national in a money laundering case.

The court is set to reassemble at 4 pm to issue an order on Michel’s custody and bail plea.

Michel Sent to Seven-Day ED Remand

Delhi's Patiala House Court has sent alleged middleman Christian Michel to seven-day Enforcement Directorate remand, reported ANI. His bail plea has been dismissed.

ED Opposes Anticipatory Bail Plea of Rajiv Saxena

ED opposes anticipatory bail plea of accused Rajiv Saxena. ED informs Delhi's Patiala House Court that it has sent extradition request for him as he isn't responding to summons issued against him.Court has already issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him.

Delhi Court Allows Ex-Former Air Chief to Travel Abroad

Delhi's Patiala House court allows Sanjeev Tyagi and SP Tyagi to travel abroad based on conditions. The conditions for travelling will be conveyed when the order copy is served shortly.

(Source: ANI)

Michel Named ‘Mrs Gandhi’, ‘Son of Italian Lady’: ED Tells Court

The Enforcement Directorate told Delhi's Patiala House court that Christian Michel has identified how HAL was removed from the VVIP chopper deal and that the deal was offered to Tata instead.

The ED told the court that Christian Michel has taken 'Mrs Gandhi’s’ name, but it can't be said right now in what reference that was. Michel has also spoken about “the son of the Italian lady” and how he is going to become the “next prime minister of the country", the ED told the court.

ED Tells Court Michel Passing Chits to Lawyers Asking How to Tackle Questions on Sonia Gandhi

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday told a Delhi court that alleged middleman Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, was misusing the liberty of legal assistance during his interrogation by passing chits to his lawyers asking how to tackle questions on Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

Michel was produced before a special court which extended his ED custody by seven days.

The ED said that his custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth the larger conspiracy in the case.

KEY EVENT

ED's Statement in Court Points Towards Cong's Involvement in AgustaWestland Deal: BJP

The BJP launched a sharp attack on the Congress' Gandhi family, claiming the ED's statement in a court that alleged middleman Christian Michel made reference to "Mrs Gandhi" and "son of an Italian lady" pointed toward its involvement in the AgustaWestland deal.

It is, however, not clear in what context Michel, who is under arrest, mentioned this to the investigation agency.

The Congress has rejected the charge, saying that the central government has been using agencies to implicate the Gandhi family.

Hitting out at the Congress, Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that truth was coming out of the probe into the alleged corruption in purchase of VVIP choppers during the UPA government, and that Michel's comments point towards one family.

"The story of loot of public money is coming out, Everything went to one family," he alleged, accusing the Congress of compromising with national security during its rule.

He claimed that Michel has made reference to 'Mrs Gandhi', 'son of Italian lady', 'big man', 'R' and added, "This all points to only one family".

BJP Govt Carrying out Politically-Motivated Probe into AgustaWestland Case: Congress

Accusing the government of carrying out a malicious propaganda, the Congress on Saturday referred to AgustaWestland case accused Christian Michel's statement before his extradition that Indian probe agencies were pressuring him to name a member of the Gandhi family and alleged it was a "fixed match".

Congress spokesperson RPN Singh, during a press conference, said that in Dubai, when journalists had talked to Michel's lawyer, he had given a statement about how government agencies were trying that he name a particular family.

Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said that in fact Michel had said before his extradition "on record in court that he was being pressured to name a member of the Gandhi family and that is what they were planning and have done".

KEY EVENT

'Modi Government Protector and Benefactor of AgustaWestland'

The Modi government is the protector and benefactor of AgustaWestland. Why else would they remove their name from a blacklist and include them in the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Randeep Surjewala

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Modi government had removed AgustaWestland from a blacklist soon after it assumed power in July-August 2014. He said that the UPA government had blacklisted AgustaWestland in 2013, but this was reversed soon after the NDA government took power.

Delhi Court Sends Christian Michel to Judicial Custody Till 26 Feb

Delhi’s Patiala House court on 5 January sent alleged middleman Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, to judicial custody till 26 February.

Rahul Cannot Deny Relations With Michel: Prasad

Congress President Rahul Gandhi “cannot deny his relations” with alleged middleman Christian Michel, in the AugustaWestland case, said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, addressing a press conference on Monday, 7 January.

“Is Rahul Gandhi under pressure from competitors of Rafale,” Prasad asked, responding to the allegations levelled by Gandhi.

Michel Seeks Permission From Special CBI Court to Make International Calls

Christian Michel has moved an application before a special CBI court seeking permission to make international calls to his family and friends, and to his lawyers. The court has asked the jail superintendent to submit a report on Monday, 14 January.

(Source: ANI)

British High Commission Gets Consular Access to Michel

The British High Commission in India has got consular access to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, reported ANI.

“Our staff are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare.”
Birtish High Commission to ANI

Christian Michel Granted 15 Minutes Per Week To Speak to Family, Lawyers

Christian Michel has been granted 15 minutes per week to speak to his family and lawyers by a special CBI Court, reported ANI.

Probe Agencies to Identify Michel's Local, Overseas Assets to Map Money Trail

Investigative agencies are looking to identify foreign and domestic assets of Christian Michel, alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland scam, to unravel the purported kickbacks generated by him and his associates to swing the defence deal in the favour of the Anglo-Italian firm.

Officials involved in the probe said investigative agencies have detected that Michel possesses properties and bank accounts in at least four countries and they suspect that a number of them have been created during the time the deal was being inked.

They suspect some of the assets could also be in India and are held in a 'benami' manner where the actual owner could be linked to the British national, extradited last month to India from the UAE.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2015 had attached properties worth about Rs 1.12 crore in Delhi that were linked to Michel under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

AgustaWestland Co-Accused Rajiv Saxena Extradited From UAE

Lawyers of Rajiv Saxena, co-accused in the AgustaWestland deal, claimed that he was picked by the UAE state security from his residence and was “illegally extradited” to India, reported ANI.

“There were no extradition proceedings started in the UAE and he was not allowed access to his family or lawyers or essential daily medicine. He was boarded onto a private jet from a private terminal at Dubai International Airport,” his lawyers told ANI.

ED Takes Custody of Rajiv Saxena, Talwar

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) took the custody of Rajiv Saxena and Deepak Talwar on Thursday, 31 January, after the two were deported from Dubai to India in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, reported PTI.

Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, a Dubai-based accountant and corporate lobbyist, is wanted in Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper case. Lobbyist Deepak Talwar is wanted by the ED and the CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the foreign funding route.

Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading missile manufacturing company. His role in some aviation deals during the UPA government's regime is under scanner.

The ED had summoned Rajeev Saxena, a resident of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife Shivani Saxena from the Chennai airport in July 2017.

The ED had alleged that Rajeev, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms, Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai and Ms Matrix Holdings, routed the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others.

ED Questions Rajiv Saxena and Deepak Talwar

The questioning of corporate lobbyists Rajiv Saxena and Deepak Talwar by two separate teams of Enforcement Directorate at different locations is underway. The two accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal were extradited to India and arrested by the ED in the wee hours of 31 January.

KEY EVENT

Rajiv Saxena to Be Produced Before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar

Rajiv Saxena, accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, who was extradited from UAE last night, will be produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar on Thurday, 31 January.

KEY EVENT

Co-Accused Rajiv Saxena Brought Before Patiala House Court

Rajiv Saxena has been produced before Delhi’s Patiala House Court on 31 January, reported ANI.

KEY EVENT

ED Seeks Eight-Day Remand of Rajiv Saxena

The ED sought an eight day remand of Dubai-based businessman Saxena, a co-accused in Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper case, reported ANI. The ED counsel DP Singh said, “we are aware of his (Rajiv Saxena’s) health and medical issues. Every possible need will be taken care of.

KEY EVENT

Co-Accused Deepak Talwar Being Taken to Patiala House Court

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, co-accused in the case, is being taken to Delhi's Patiala House Court, reported ANI.

Manner in Which Saxena Brought Here Illegal: Counsel

Geeta Luthra, counsel for Saxena, said that the manner in which Saxena had been brought to India was illegal, reported ANI. “The manner in which he has been brought here is illegal and because the manner is illegal, the remand request automatically becomes incorrect”, she said.

KEY EVENT

Rajiv Saxena Sent to Four Days Remand by Court

Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, a co-accused in Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper case has been sent to 4 days of ED remand by Delhi's Patiala House Court, reported ANI.

KEY EVENT

Deepak Talwar Sent to Seven Days of ED Remand

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar has been sent to seven days of ED remand by Delhi's Patiala House Court, reported ANI.

Rajiv Saxena Hid $45 Million in Swiss Banks: ED

In a major development, the Enforcement Directorate has found out that eight Swiss bank accounts maintained by AgustaWestland accused Rajiv Saxena received kickbacks in the chopper deal, The Indian Express reported.

ED told a Delhi court that Saxena had cumulative deposits worth $43 million and over 5 million Swiss Francs deposited in the Swiss bank accounts. The deposits were in the name of his companies and family members. The court gave ED four days to question Saxena.

According to the Indian Express report, Matrix Group Ltd. and UHY Saxena and Associates, two companies owned by Saxena have four bank accounts in which $12 million and Swiss Francs 65,608 are deposited. The two companies, the ED has alleged, had received AgustaWestland kickbacks through Interstellar Technologies.

Delhi Court Extends Rajiv Saxena ED Remand by 4 Days

Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, a co-accused in Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper case has been sent to additional four days of ED remand by Delhi's Patiala House Court, reported ANI.

Court Asks ED to Ensure That Health-Related Needs of Deepak Talwar Are Accommodated

A special CBI court on Wednesday, 6 February asked the Enforcement Directorate to ensure that the health-related needs of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar are accommodated as per procedural protocol. He had moved the court seeking directions to sleep in the ED office instead of the Tughlak Road Police Station owing to his health issues.

ED Claims Talwar Has Links with Vijay Mallya, Court Extends Custody

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday claimed before Delhi’s Patiala House Court that corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar has links with fugitive Vijay Mallya in a money laundering case.

Special Judge S S Mann extended the ED's custody of Talwar till 12 February after the probe agency said he was to be confronted with his son who is currently abroad and has been summoned by the investigating agency on 11 February, reported PTI.

The ED had sought extension of custody for Talwar by seven days.

Close Aide of Talwar Granted Protection from Arrest till 21 February

Yasmin Kapoor, close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar and a suspect in a money laundering case against him was, on Thursday, granted protection from arrest till 21 February.

Kapoor moved the court seeking anticipatory bail, claiming that the ED had threatened her to take names and also convince Talwar to give names of government officials/political functionaries, failing which she would be arrested and face trouble.

Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted the relief to Kapoor after her advocate told the court she was ready to cooperate in the investigation.

Christian Michel Approaches Court for Bail

Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case, has approached Delhi's Patiala House Court for bail in CBI and ED cases.

Deepak Talwar Files Bail Application Before CBI Judge at Patiala House Court

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar on Monday, 11 February, filed a bail application before a CBI judge at Delhi's Patiala House Court, reported ANI.

Rajeev Saxena Produced Before Delhi's Patiala House Court

Rajeev Saxena, co-accused in AugustaWestland money laundering case, was produced before Delhi's Patiala House Court on Tuesday, 12 February, after his Enforcement Directorate remand ended, ANI reported.

ED Seeks No Further Custody of Rajeev Saxena

The Enforcement Directorate did not seek any further custody of Rajeev Saxena, arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money laundering case, from a Delhi court on Tuesday, 12 February, PTI reported.

Saxena sought to talk to Special Judge Arvind Kumar in private, without the presence of his lawyers, after which the court initiated in-camera proceedings in the case.

Court Reserves Order on Saxena's Bail Plea

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday, 12 February, reserved order on Rajeev Saxena’s bail plea. The order will be passed later in the day, ANI reported.

Christian Michel to Meet Lawyer Rosemary Patrizi as General Visitor

Patiala House Court allowed Christian Michel to meet lawyer Rosemary Patrizi. She will meet as a general visitor, and not as a lawyer, as per Tihar Jail rules.

Arguments on Michel's bail plea will be held at 2 pm on 12 February, ANI reported.

ED Given Two-Day Custody of Deepak Talwar

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday, 12 February, gave ED two-day custody of Deepak Talwar, ANI reported.

CBI, ED Oppose Michel's Bail Plea

In their replies to, CBI and ED strongly opposed Christian Michel's bail plea on Tuesday, 12 February. Arguments in the matter will now be heard on 13 February.

Court Reserves Order on Michel's Plea

Delhi's Patiala House Court reserved order on Christian Michel’s bail plea and the order is to be passed now on 16 February, ANI reported.

Rajiv Saxena Gets Interim Bail Till 22 February

Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday granted interim bail to co-accused Rajiv Saxena till 22 February.

He has to furnish two bail surety of Rs 5 lakh each, reported ANI.

Deepak Talwar Sent to 14-Day Judicial Custody

Delhi’s Patiala House Court sent corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar to 14 days of judicial custody on Thursday, 14 February, ANI reported.

Delhi Court Grants Bail to Rajiv Saxena

A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Rajiv Saxena, who was arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money laundering case.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted relief to Saxena on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.

The court also imposed certain conditions on Saxena and said he will not tamper with evidence and join investigation as and when called, PTI reported.

Court Allows Michel's Application Seeking Meeting With Counsel

Delhi's Patiala House Court allowed the application of alleged AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel, seeking a meeting with his counsel for handover of 'summer' clothes.

The court also issued directions to Tihar Jail authorities for the same, ANI reported.

Judicial Custody of Christian Michel Extended

The Delhi court extended judicial custody of alleged middleman Christian Michel by one day.

The Delhi court Tuesday, 26 February, issued a production warrant against lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who is an accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued his production warrant and posted the matter for hearing on May 9.

Khaitan had been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI a few years ago in connection with their probe but was granted bail in the case.

Delhi Court Directs Saxena to Record Statement Before Magistrate on 2 March

The Delhi court on Thursday, 28 February, directed Rajeev Saxena, who had moved a plea to become an approver in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money-laundering case, to record his statement before a magistrate court.

Special judge Arvind Kumar marked Saxena's plea before the court of the CMM on March 2 for recording of his disclosure statement (disclose intentions for becoming an approver), after he told the court that he had no intention not to cooperate and that it was logical at this stage to complete his testimony in a fair way.

The judge asked him, "Are you aware that you may not be absolved of punishment by becoming an approver?". To this Saxena replied in the affirmative.

"I have thought long and hard and I am confident that my exposure to the case is minimal... I have no intention not to cooperate. At this stage it is logical to complete my testimony in a fair way," he told the court.

Delhi Court Pulls up Tihar Jail Authorities for Not Giving Reasons of Shifting Michel

A Delhi court on Thursday, 28 February, lashed out at the Tihar Jail authorities for failing to justify shifting of Christian Michel to a high security cell in isolation, saying it will start an inquiry if it does not get a proper response, PTI reported.

Michel was arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.

Deputy Superintendent of Tihar Jail told the court that Michel was shifted to cell number 2 (high security ward) keeping in mind his safety as it was a high profile case. However, he failed to justify the sudden shifting before the court.

Michel Seeks Judicial Inquiry For Being Shifted To Solitary Confinement

Christian Michel on Saturday asked for a judicial inquiry for being shifted to solitary confinement and violation of his human rights, ANI reported.

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