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AgustaWestland case: Delhi court rejects plea of Christian Michel seeking a separate cell in Tihar jail

Delhi court had sought Tihar jail authorities' opinion on Christian Michel's plea seeking to be lodged in a separate cell

Christian Michel, the AgustaWestland middleman, who has been kept in Tihar jail, after the Patiala House court sent him on 10-days judicial custody till December 28, was produced before the court on Saturday. The court disposed of an application whereby Michel had sought a separate cell in the Tihar jail.

The Delhi court on Friday had asked the jail authorities to respond to the application filed by Michel through his advocate, Aljo K Joseph and Vishnu Shankar, seeking a direction to the “Superintendent of Tihar Jail to allocate a separate cell to accused Christian James Michel”.

In his plea, Michel argued that some of his inmates would be released soon and any incorrect statement made by them outside might go against his interest and also may interfere in the free and fair investigation of the case.

The Delhi court, today, quashed the appeal as his counsel stated that he was already provided with a private cell in Tihar. The court instead directed Tihar authorities to ensure Michel’s safety.

Christian Michel, one of the three alleged middlemen (the other two accused are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa), being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI, is a British businessman, accused of money laundering, bribery, and fraud in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore worth AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. He is being accused of paying bribes to several politicians, bureaucrats and officials in exchange to get this deal.

Michel was arrested in the UAE and extradited to India on December 4, 2018. Earlier, the Delhi court had sent Christian Michel to 5-day CBI custody for interrogation and later extended it for another four days. On December 19, the court had extended his judicial custody till December 28, and reserved for December 22 its order on the bail plea of Christian Michel.

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