A court on Monday allowed Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, to make phone calls to his family and lawyers abroad for 15 minutes every week.
Michel, who is now in judicial custody after being extradited to India from Dubai in December for his suspected role in the scam, moved court after jail authorities rejected his request for permission to call his family and lawyers.
The court asked the superintendent of Tihar Jail to submit a report on the matter on January 14, NDTV reported.
Last week, the Indian government granted the British High Commission consular access to 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 had said.
The former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government signed the Rs 3,565-crore deal in 2010 with the British-Italian firm AgustaWestland. The agreement 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 that Indian investigative agencies believe brokered the deal.
On December 29, the Enforcement Directorate said Michel identified a “Mrs Gandhi” during interrogation. However, the agency did not specify who “Mrs Gandhi” was and in what context Michel had referred to her.