Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, visited India ‘300 times’ between 1996 to 2012 but had not visited India even once after his aide Guiseppe was arrested in 2013. The argument was put forward by Advocate DP Singh appearing for the CBI before the Special CBI judge Arvind Kumar. The CBI has alleged that Michel was running away from justice since he had not visited Italy, India or even UK after his associate was arrested.
The agency also submitted that Michel had links with the ministries, people in politics, bureaucracy and many of whom are witnesses in the case. The Court has sent Michel to judicial custody at the end of 14-days police remand.
As reported by Economic Times, The Central Bureau of Investigation has submitted an auditor’s report in the AgustaWestland chopper scam which reportedly found ‘serious deviations’ in the transfer of money from M/s AgustaWestland to Christian Michel’s two companies. When the auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had recommended ‘extensive audit’ the company the company changed the auditor.
As per the report, while contesting Michel’s bail plea, the CBI has claimed that AgustaWestland appointed Giorgio Casana to “manage a clean chit”.
Christian Michel is accused of money laundering, bribery, and fraud in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore worth AgustaWestland scam. It is believed that not only did he pay kickbacks to politicians, officers and agents but also involved certain celebrity journalists to swing the deal.