AgustaWestland: How Michel moved the govt to disqualify competition early
James Christian Michel the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case is said to have visited India over a 100 times and during the early stages, he was deliberately trying to disqualify the competition, investigations have shown.
Armed with a chargesheet, both the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate will now make a formal request to Britain to extradite Michel. An earlier request had been turned down by the UK since the details provided by India were incomplete.
CBI sources say that Michel had visited India at least 100 times since 1993 and he had links with several persons in the government. His links in the government were so strong that he had possession of the confidential defence files which included documents relating to the cabinet committee on security.
When the deal was being pushed there was competition from M/s Sikorsky. However Michel made an early visit to India where he deliberately tried to disqualify the competition. He managed to do so and AgustaWestland bagged the deal despite Sikorsky quoting a much lower price.
Investigations show that Sikorsky was disqualified at the trial field itself. The unopened commercial bid that was submitted in February 2007 was to returned by the Defence Ministry. The CBI says Michel moved his contacts and ensured that the financial bids of Sikorsky were not opened.