The British High Commission in India was granted consular access to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper case, on Friday, ANI reported.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that a second secretary level officer from the commission had met Michel.
“Our staff are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare,” the British High Commission told ANI.
The businessman was extradited to India on December 4. He was in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation for 15 days. On December 22, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Michel after a special Central Bureau of Investigation court remanded him to its custody for seven days.
The British High Commission had sought consular access to Michel soon after he was extradited, following which the Ministry of External Affairs said it was examining the United Kingdom’s request.
On December 29, the Enforcement Directorate said Michel had identified a “Mrs Gandhi” during an interrogation. However, the investigating agency did not specify details about the identity of “Mrs Gandhi” and in what context Michel had referred to her. On January 5, a Delhi court had sent Michel to judicial custody till February 26 in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
The former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had signed the Rs 3,565-crore helicopter deal in 2010 with the British-Italian firm AgustaWestland. The deal was put on hold after Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, on charges of paying bribes to win the contract. Michel is one of three suspected middlemen who Indian investigative agencies believe brokered the deal.