In a major development in multi-crore AgustaWestland scam, the accused middleman Michel Christian arrived in Delhi in a private flight after Dubai government passed an order to extradite him in the VVIP chopper scandal. The Congress leader's son doing business in Dubai arranged TV interviews of Michel to Indian media in 2016 to accuse Modi Government of political vendetta.
"I went there along with my UAE lawyer where another UAE national was present who introduced himself has the foreign minister of UAE who personally asked Michel to cooperate citing good relations between India and UAE", Christian Michel wrote in his email.
The Indian agencies have accused Michel of receiving "kickback" from AgustaWestland - in the guise of "genuine transactions" for executing several work contracts - to sway the 12-helicopter deal in its favour.
What is the chopper scam?
The chargesheet of the case - which runs into 30,000 pages - mentions that the CBI identified the trail to €62 million and that the AgustaWestland deal resulted in the wrongful loss of €398.21 million to the Indian exchequer.
Initially, the investigation conducted by Italian authorities indicted him for offences of worldwide bribery and corruption, following which the CBI too started a probe against him. Michel also allegedly paid off influential people in India, who helped reject Russian and American choppers.
The controversial diaries Probe agencies had recovered hand-written diaries detailing the alleged kickbacks paid for the choppers.
Michel has denied all the charges.
Others named in the chargesheet included Giuseppe Orsi, the former chief of Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, apart from middlemen James, Haschke and Gerosa. AgustaWestland became eligible to supply the dozen helicopters for VVIP flying duties after this change.
"Christian Michel will be subjected to criminal proceedings in the CBI case before the court of special judge CBI in Delhi", the sources said. Probe agencies claim he made about 300 trips to India between 1997 and 2013. According to the ED, he used Dubai-based Global Services to park and launder bribes.