Christian Michel Extradited to India, CBI Credits Ajit Doval For Major Breakthrough in AgustaWestland Scam
AgustaWestland Chopper | Representational Image | (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, December 4: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will arrest Christian Michel upon arrival at the New Delhi airport. Christian Michel has been extradited to India from Dubai, said reports.

The CBI has credited National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval, for the entire operation. The operation is being coordinated by M. Nageswara Rao and a team led by A. Sai Manohar, Joint Director-CBI was in Dubai for the purpose of overseeing the extradition.

Christian James Michel, a British national and a middleman, has been extradited to India, a development that comes as a boost to Indian agencies investigating the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

Michel is one of three middlemen being probed in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the scam.

According to Indian investigative agencies, Michel had received at least Rs 235 crore for ensuring that the chopper contract went to AgustaWestland. He was a frequent visitor to India, having undertaken 300 trips to this country between 1997 and 2013.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had named former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF Vice Chief J.S. Gujral and advocate Gautam Khaitan as the four Indians involved in the scam.

The chargesheet mentioned Khaitan as the "brain" behind the deal.

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 Michel, Haschke and Gerosa.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI, which registered an FIR in the case on March 12, 2013, had alleged that Tyagi and the other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help it win the contract. (With IANS inputs)