AgustaWestland deal: Christian Michel’s bail plea rejected by Delhi court
The businessman, who was allegedly one of the three men to have brokered the agreement, had filed petitions in cases registered by the ED and the CBI.
A court in Delhi on Saturday dismissed the bail application of British businessman Christian Michel, who is an accused in an alleged scam in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, PTI reported.
Special judge Arvind Kumar rejected Michel’s plea in cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, according to the Hindustan Times.
Michel, who is in judicial custody at present, was extradited from Dubai on December 4 after the United Arab Emirates allegedly agreed to in exchange for India returning runaway Dubai princess Sheikha Latifa. Michel’s family had threatened to approach the United Nations over this.
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 agreement.
The court’s decision came two days after another co-accused in the case – businessman Rajeev Saxena – was granted seven-day interim bail in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate because of health reasons. He was also asked to furnish two sureties of Rs 5 lakh each. Saxena’s case will be heard next on February 22.