In ED’s supplementary chargesheet in Agusta Westland case, Christian Michel’s partner named as accused

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed a supplementary charge sheet in Delhi’s Patiala House court against Christian Michel, the stated middleman in the Agusta Westland case.

David Syms, the partner of Christian Michel, has also been named as an accused. Some unique individuals and firms have been named as accused in the charge sheet.

Michel was extradited by Dubai and arrested in December last year. His statement records were also presented and mentioned in the supplementary charge sheet. The court will consider the resolution on April 6.

It is stated that bribes were paid to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica (now known as the Leonardo group) at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore.

Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

The ED, which is probing this case along with the CBI, had filed a charge sheet against Michel in 2016 and had stated that he received 30 million euros (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland which was nothing but “kickbacks” to execute the 12-helicopter deal in favour of the firm in “guise of” of genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country.

Under the now-scrapped deal with AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence group Leonardo, formerly Finmeccanica, India agreed to buy 12 helicopters for ferrying VVIPs. The chopper deal was inked in February 2010 and scrapped four years later over allegations that bribes had exchanged hands.

The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of about Rs 2,666 crore to the exchequer in the deal that was penned on February 8, 2010, for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros.

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