AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper case: British Citizen Christian Michel at 'flight risk', CBI tells Delhi HC
Opposing the bail plea of British citizen Christian Michel, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland Helicopter case is a "flight risk".
Opposing the bail plea of British citizen Christian Michel, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland Helicopter case is a "flight risk". "We fear that because of the way British government is helping him and he is connected right at the top if he is given a passport in another name he might flee and will never return," the CBI said.
Advocate DP Singh appeared for the CBI also submits that the translated copy of the Dubai Supreme Court has been placed on record. An affidavit along with the same shall be placed on record by the next date. Advocate Aljo K Joseph appearing for Christian Michel argued that "all the other accused in the case got bail in 60 days and I'm the only one who hasn't been given the bail and suffering incarnation. When all other accused persons are on bail then why am I being singled out?"
Advocate Joseph further argued that 218 witnesses, 1059 documents, the first charge sheet in 2018 (45,000 pages), first supplementary (25,000 pages), nine years of probe still investigation aren't complete, the prosecution sanctions have yet not come. During extradition proceedings, I was detained for two months in Dubai prison and three years and two months I have spent in jail in India, Advocate Aljo K Joseph added.
Earlier, the Delhi HC had asked CBI to file translated copy of the Dubai Supreme Court order related to Michel's extradition. Michel's legal team earlier, claimed that there was alleged illegality perpetuating in the case, as Michel's Extradition request letter exchanged between India and UAE has not been filed despite the lapse of the last three years.
Earlier, the bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri had issued notice to CBI and ED in a fresh bail petition of alleged middlemen Christian Michel James in connection with the VVIP Chopper case. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Zoheb Hossain appeared for ED and Advocate DP Singh appeared for CBI in the AgustaWestland matter. Advocate Aljo K Joseph represented the accused, Christian Michel James.
According to the bail petition files in the trial court, it stated that the applicant (Michel) will be available to join the investigation of any future investigation and trial, as and when required and has never sought to evade the process of law. The advocates earlier told the court that Michel has made no attempt to suborn witnesses, tamper with documentary evidence, or in any other manner pollute or obstruct the judicial process and further, the applicant undertakes that he shall not, tamper with evidence or influence witnesses, nor is there any reasonable or justifiable apprehension thereof.
The trial court, while rejecting James' bail plea, had shown its displeasure with British High Commission for sending a letter addressed to this Court stating that the medical condition of accused Christian Michel James and his pre-trial detention of two and half years may be taken into account when his bail application is considered. "It was on May 13 made clear that such direct communication to Court from 3rd party is not permissible and if anyone has any grievance or wants to participate in the court proceedings, he may move the appropriate application and same shall be considered as per law...." the Court said.
Christian Michel James was extradited in 2018 after India won the extradition case in Dubai. Michel, the alleged middleman in the deal, was deported from the UAE and is currently in judicial custody. Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena was extradited to India on January 31, 2019, in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore alleged scam relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland. (ANI)
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