New Delhi, May 12: James Christian Michel, an alleged middleman who India is eyeing to question for the AgustaWestland chopper deal told NDTV that in 2008, Congress chief and chairperson of the then ruling UPA, Sonia Gandhi, was described by him in a letter as "the driving force" behind the decision to acquire new helicopters to be used by top politicians. [Agusta: 6 nations remain mum]
James, however, also told the news channel that he does not either Sonia or her son Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the Congress. Dubai-based James also said that his written suggestion that they be lobbied by diplomats did not mean that they were bribed. [CBI wants details of journalists, politicians, officials from middleman]
James, in fact made the most crucial remark in the interview given to NDTV when he said: "I have to protect the Gandhis to protect myself." He said this when elaborating his stand that the Gandhis did not play any role in the alleged scam.
Michel also defended his earlier claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Italian counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit in New York last year and wanted to exchange the two Italian marines imprisoned in India on murder charges with information about the chopper deal. [Conceal the commissions through Indian firms, middleman said in an email]
The NDA government, however, denied in Parliament that any such meeting had taken place.