A Delhi court on Saturday issued a non-bailable warrant against British national and middleman Christian Michel in connection with the VVIP chopper scam, reported ANI. The court also re-issued summons to his company Media Exim and its two other directors after they failed to appear for hearing. The court will take up the case next on February 22.
The Patiala House court on December 12 had issued warrants against Michel and summons to the two other directors of his company, reported PTI. Michel has been named as one of the main accused in the Rs 3,600-crore scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
Michel had earlier said that he was willing to appear before the CBI for questioning if the Red Corner Notice issued against him was withdrawn, adding other conditions. He had said that he was ready to come to India and cooperate with the investigation, provided he was not incarcerated.
Michel, who lives in Dubai currently, has been accused of receiving kickbacks for the deal signed by the Defence Ministry with AgustaWestland for the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters. The deal was signed during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance rule. Michel has denied allegations of being involved in the scam.
In April 2016, Italy’s Milan Court of Appeals had ruled that the company paid Michel Rs 330 crore to secure the contract. However, the Supreme Court of the country later allowed Michel’s petition against the verdict. “It was bound to happen,” he had said after the apex court verdict. “The Milan court judgment was based on a closed door trial, in which evidence was misused. I am awaiting the details of the Supreme Court order allowing the appeal.”
Former Air Force chief, another prime accused in the case, was recently granted bail after being arrested on December 9. The CBI had said 12% of the Rs 3,767 crore deal was used to pay bribes.