AugustaWestland: Court allows CBI to take the signature and handwriting samples of Christian Michel

The CBI was granted five-day custody of Michel on Dec 5 by the Patiala House Court which was later extended by the CBI Special Court for five more days on the request of the CBI which said that Michel was uncooperative and evasive.

A Delhi Court has allowed the CBI to take specimens of signature and handwriting samples of alleged AugustaWestland middleman Christian Michel. The CBI had filed a plea seeking the court’s permission to take the samples.

Michel’s counsel Aljo K Joseph, a former Indian Youth Congress member, had agreed to the CBI’s plea following which Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar passed the order. Advocate D P Singh, on behalf of the CBI, had said that the signature and the handwriting samples were required for matching them with the documents already in CBI’s possession.

Michel was extradited to India from Dubai on the night of December 4. The CBI was granted five-day custody of Michel on Dec 5 by the Patiala House Court which was later extended by the CBI Special Court for five more days on the request of the CBI which said that Michel was uncooperative and evasive.

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Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the infamous  ₹3,600 crore AugustaWestland Scam, is accused of organising bribes in exchange of a contract for the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters to be used by top leaders including the President and the Prime Minister during the UPA-2 government. He is also charged with the offences of money laundering, fraud and bribery by the Indian authorities.

He allegedly paid bribes to the politicians, bureaucrats, defence personnel (former Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi) and journalists to reduce the eligibility conditions of the bid invited for the supply of the VVIP Choppers to help AgustaWestland, an Italian arms company, get the deal for the supply of the choppers.

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