AgustaWestland: Will Michel be extradited? Here is exactly what the UAE court said
New Delhi, Sep 20: There was plenty of confusion regarding a UAE court order concerning the deportation of James Christian Michel, an accused in the AgustaWestland case.
Official sources have confirmed to OneIndia that the order of the court was related to whether a foreign national could be extradited to a third country. Michel is a resident of the UK residing in UAE for the past several years.
While reports had claimed on Tuesday that Michel was ordered to be extradited, none of the agencies probing the case confirmed the same. Sources in the CBI and Enforcement Directorate say that the observations by the court have been positive. The source however said that they are yet to receive any official communication.
Last month, the court had posed a question on whether or not a foreign national could be deported. In its order, the court was of the opinion that a foreign national can be extradited to India. Sources also confirmed that this was an opinion and not a verdict.
The order dated September 2 2018 says, " It is possible to hand over Michel to the concerned authorities in India. The draft verdict was signed by Isa Muhammad Shareef, Rashif Mummad al-Samiri and Ashraf Muhammad al-Shawadafi. The order came in the wake of an extradition request made by India. The court in its order however rejected all contentions made regarding political vendetta and possible violations of human rights.
With this development, the Indian mission in UAE would call on the authorities to obtain facts relating to the matter.
Michel, a British national is wanted in India for allegedly organising bribes in exchange for a 2007 contract for the purchase of 12 helicopters for use by top leaders. He had been detained in the UAE in July and granted bail a month later.
Michel's primary job was to give feedback on the media activities relating to the AgustaWestland deal. CBI sources say that his meeting with several media persons has been under the scanner.
Michel was a middleman hired by AgustaWestland. His main job was to keep an eye on the media in India and report the narrative regarding the deal to AgustaWestland.
He is an important player in this case, the CBI says. We have some evidence on him which includes the reports he sent out and also the meetings he held with some people in the media, officials also add.
An amount of Rs 330 crore was paid to him for managing various services. He received these amounts in part payments at United Kingdom, the British Virgin Islands and also Tunisia.
In addition to his links with the media, the CBI has also found that he had several assets (benami) in India. A bungalow in Delhi and a luxury car is what the CBI has found and officials say that he had purchased this in a benami name.
While his meetings with several persons are under the scanner, the CBI has learnt that it was through his company Global Services FZE all his activities were managed.