Thursday, May 06, 2021 | Ramadan 23, 1442 H
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British High Commission seeks consular access to Michel


NEW DELHI: The British High Commission on Thursday sought consular access to Christian Michel, who was extradited from the United Arab Emirates. The CBI said it had received the request.

The agency said Michel was being questioned “round the clock.” “The CBI has a lot of material to confront him (Michel),” an official source said.

Michel is a British national who was wanted for his role in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

On Wednesday, a Delhi court sent him to five days custody of CBI. Michel is also under medical observation.

India followed due process in securing the extradition of Michel from the UAE, a senior official said on Thursday.

At a media briefing here, External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Ministry had two requests from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the extradition of Michel from the UAE which were then forwarded to the Indian mission in the Gulf nation.

“After following due process and exhaustion of judicial process, Christian Michel was extradited to India,” Kumar said. “The matter is being handled by the CBI.”

Meanwhile, retaliating to the BJPs allegations of “links” with Michel, the Congress on Thursday raked up Finance Minister Arun Jaitley daughter’s law firm being engaged by fraudster Mehul Choksi and alleged a “BJP-Agusta nexus” claiming it promoted the controversial Italian defence company.

Shortly after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of trying to save Michel by providing “three Congress lawyers”, Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill hit back citing instances of Jaitley providing legal services to scamster Ketan Parekh and his daughter’s law firm being engaged by now absconding Choksi, a prime accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case.

Questioning the Modi government’s intention behind allowing “blacklisted AgustaWestland to be part of Make in India and bid for 100 Naval Utility Helicopters, the Congress questioned why the Modi government did not appeal against Italian courts acquitting two prime accused in the bribery scandal.

“Will the CBI probe the BJP-Agusta nexus of quid pro quo, of accommodating and welcoming AgustaWestland in India and aggressively promoting a blacklisted company? The CBI will never investigate this angle because it is a remote-controlled hawk of the Modi government,” Shergill told the media here.

Shergill ridiculed the BJP for trying to establish Congress’ links with Agusta through the now expelled youth Congress leader and advocate Aljo K Joseph who represented Michel in a Delhi court after he was extradited to India on Tuesday.

“The BJP bid to link Congress with Agusta on the basis of an expelled advocate (Joseph) is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.”


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