AugstaWestland: Michel a flight risk says Delhi court

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Apr 19: A Delhi court while rejecting an interim bail plea filed by alleged AgustaWestland middleman, James Christian Michel termed him as a flight risk.

He has no roots in India and could also tamper with the evidence, if granted bail, the court also said.

Christian Michel had moved a Delhi court seeking 7-day interim bail to celebrate Easter with his family.

Also Read | Want to celebrate Easter, grant me bail says AugustaWestland middleman Michel

"It is submitted that the applicant was in the ED custody even during Christmas week ie. December 22 to 28, 2018 and was interrogated by the agency even during the Christmas day. Being a Christian, he was not even allowed to offer a Holy mass even during Christmas...," said the application moved by the accused.

"It is submitted that the week commencing form 14th April to 21st April is a holy week for the Christian's and 21st April is the Easter which will be celebrated universally. The petitioner wishes to attend the holy mass on the Easter day and would like to make offerings during the Easter day," it said.

The ED filed a supplementary charge sheet against Michel and others on April 4,
Michel was arrested by the ED on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai.

He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

The agency had earlier told the court that Michel received 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal.

The ED told the court that it had identified Michel's properties purchased with the proceeds of the crime.

Also Read | Explain how AgustaWestland chargesheet was leaked, court tells ED

The ED, in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he had received 30 million euros (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.

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

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