VVIP chopper case: UK consular access to Michel ‘only after CBI concludes process’

The Indian court has no plans to grant the United Kingdom consular access to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, despite a request by the British High Commission.

Consular access to the British High Commission will be provided only after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concludes necessary procedure and interrogation of the British national who was extradited from the United Arab Emirates to India this week. Access can only be granted when Michel is in judicial custody and currently he remains to be in CBI’s custody.

“We have received a request from the UK High Commission seeking consular access. The matter at this point of time is being examined within the ministry,” the ministry’s spokesman Raveesh Kumar told media persons on Thursday.

Asked about Michel’s extradition, Kumar said the MEA had received two requests from the CBI and the ED and the requests were forwarded by Indian Mission to the UAE authorities.

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

CBI has got all documents related to AgustaWestland’s contracts in India which were in Haschke’s possession. “Haschke couldn’t have acted alone as Michel used to give him instructions. Haschke’s documents, if corroborated by Michel, could actually open a Pandora’s box here,” said an officer.

Without sharing much details, an officer said, “What he (Michel) is saying needs thorough verification as he knows how to dodge questions.”

Michel, 57, was brought to India late Tuesday night following his extradition by the United Arab Emirates in connection with the chopper deal case. A court Wednesday sent him to a five-day custody of the CBI, probing the scam.

Abha Boyal

Abha has taste of years in journalism and writing. She is known to elaborate her findings in a vibrant way. With writing as her incredible skill, Abha also enjoys exploring new places. She stays focused on whatever she does and this makes her an all rounder.

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