Mon, 17 Jun 2019

New Delhi [India], Dec 11 (ANI): A Delhi court on Tuesday granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) access to the handwriting and signature of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Raising concerns, Michel's lawyer Aljo Joseph told the CBI special court that samples should be "sent to the right place," which was objected to by the CBI lawyer, who said that Joseph's concerns question the integrity of the institution.

Michel's counsel also pleaded the court to allow him to speak with his step-brother, a barrister, which the CBI counsel strongly objected to. The court declined the request owing to the step-brother's suspected involvement in the scam, and allowed Michel to only speak with his wife and children.

The court also specified that the medium of conversation will be English and all conversations will be held over a loudspeaker.

On Monday, the CBI special court had extended Michel's custody by five days before approving the British High Commission's request for consular access to Michel.

Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case, was extradited to India on December 4 after the Dubai Cassation Court approved his extradition on November 19.

The Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, finalised during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tenure, was mired in allegations of kickbacks. The 54-year-old Michel is an accused in the case along with former India's Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi among others. (ANI)

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