In the wake of alleged middleman Christian Michel’s extradition to India yesterday, former Air Chief Marshal and a co-accused in the AgustaWestland corruption scam, SP Tyagi, lost his temper when media asked him to comment on the latest developments.
When asked about Christian Michel and his extradition related developments, SP Tyagi vented his spleen questioning media’s conduct. “Who are you to ask me such questions? You can’t intrude my privacy. Please be courteous while asking such questions,” he asked.
Christian Michel, a British businessman, accused of money laundering, bribery, and fraud in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore worth AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam was extradited to India from Dubai late last night. He is being accused of paying bribes to several politicians, bureaucrats and officials in exchange to get this deal.
SP Tyagi, along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan was accused of money laundering, fraud and corruption. The CBI arrested them in July this year on the charges of criminal conspiracy and illegal gratification in the VVIP chopper deal scam. However, in September 2018, Tyagis and the other accused were granted bail by the court on a bond of Rs.1 lakh each and the same amount as surety.
Tyagi and his cousin are accused of receiving bribes for modifying the specifications of choppers to benefit the seller. CBI asserted in their charge sheet that Tyagi even reduced the minimum ceiling height for choppers from 18,000 feet to 15,000 feet so as to ensure Agusta’s qualification as a seller. CBI has also alleged that Tyagi made several trips to Italy to meet the middlemen.
According to recorded conversations and documents shared by Italy with the CBI and ED, Agusta middlemen Haschke and Gerosa accompanied Tyagi to the airport of Milan. SP Tyagi was affectionately called as ‘gorgeous girl’ by Guido Ralph Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, the two middlemen in AgustaWestland deal. Earlier, in July 2018, Italy had refused to extradite the middlemen Haschke and Gerosa to India, citing no legal treaty between the two countries.
Christian Michel’s revelations are expected to spell doom for politicians, officials and military officers involved in the scam. Perhaps, this explains why SP Tyagi is gnawing at the current developments and is boorish towards the reporters asking him unsettling questions about the kickbacks involved in AgustaWestland deal.