AgustaWestland: Middleman Christian Michel extradited to India, lands in Delhi

Vikas SV

New Delhi, Dec 4: James Christian Michel, the alleged British middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP copper scam who was kept under detention in Dubai, took the flight to India tonight and landed at New Delhi. PTI reported that Michel landed in India at 22.35 hrs on Gulfstream jet.

India has officially taken Michel into custody and the British national will be put up at the CBI headquarters for the night.

A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Michel and he will be taken for medical examination tomorrow.

The Dubai government had passed an order to extradite him, following a court verdict.

The operation of extradition was carried out under the guidance of National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. The operation is being coordinated by interim CBI chief Nageshwar Rao. In Dubai a team led by A Sai Manohar joint director CBI oversaw the entire process.

A Dubai court had last month rejected his appeal against extradition. Following the order, India worked closely with the authorities in Dubai.

In November the Court of Cassation had rejected the appeal against extradition filed by Michel. The Court of Cassation is the third and final degree of litigation in Dubai in which cases heard by the Court of Appeal are contested. All decisions of Court of Cassation are final and binding for all the parties and are not subject to appeal. "The judicial authorities there concluded there was no criminal element in the case."

'Michel is to be extradited from the UAE,' Dubai's top court said in its order.

Michel was arrested in the UAE last year and was out on bail. He is wanted in India for allegedly organising bribes in exchange for a contract for VVIP helicopters. Michel, a British national, is accused of handling and routing over 60 million dollars for kickbacks in the deal for AgustaWestland luxury helicopters.

The Court of Appeal on September 2, had ruled in favour of the Indian government and said that he can be extradited while stating, "The court decided the possibility of extraditing Christian James Michel to the competent authorities in the Republic of India." Michel's legal team then approached the Court of Cassation. The Court of Cassation is the third and final degree of litigation in Dubai in which cases heard by the Court of Appeal are contested.

Read full order on Michel here:

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