One of the hardest, how team Doval built a fool proof case to get Michel to India
New Delhi, Dec 6: Securing James Christian Michel was no easy task. Before setting the extradition motion into process, there were several issues that had to be taken into account.
For starters, Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case is a British national. However, India had hope since he was in Dubai and all diplomatic stings could be pulled to seek his extradition.
An high ranking official explains to OneIndia that although they were sure that there would not be much trouble seeking his extradition from Dubai, the case that had to be presented needed to be fool proof.
The entire operation was set into motion around 16 months back under the direct guidance of National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. A note issued by the CBI on Tuesday stated that while the entire operation was coordinated under the guidance of Ajit Doval, a team led by Sai Manohar, joint director of CBI set the operation into motion.
The officer further explained that they were readying for a long legal battle. The first setback was when the court had in UAE said that the evidence was flimsy. This led to the CBI gathering more evidence and sourcing documents through Letters Rogatory. The judgment of the Italian court, chargesheets by the CBI and documents received through LRs became crucial to the case. The CBI even presented documents that were recovered during raids by the Swiss authorities.
While, the battle was being fought in court, India with the help of the Dubai authorities and the Interpol also had to ensure that Michel did not flee. It would have been hard with a Red Corner Notice, but we still had to be on watch, the officer also explained. There was an instance when he had tried fleeing Dubai, but was stopped, officers say.
The final blow for Michel came when the Court of Cassation in Dubai delivered its final verdict. Going through the entire verdict, it becomes clear that India had presented irrefutable evidence while seeking his extradition.
While rejecting Michel's challenge to the extradition, the court had said that it upholds the justifiable and sound conclusion and hence the petitioner's (Michel) objection is dismissed.
"Whereas the offences for which the above concerned person is wanted are of 'deceit and criminal conspiracy,' punishable by the laws of both state. In India the said offences are punishable by imprisonment or fine or both by the provisions of articles 120B, 415 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Article 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) provides for the punishment of imprisonment or fine or with both. In juxtaposition, we have the UAE provisions on offences of bribery, fraud and deceit in commercial transactions and such offences are punishable under the provisions of articles 237, 399 and 423 of the Federal Penal Law."
"Whereas the challenged decision (extradition) has lawfully and justifiably concluded that it was evident in the exhibits that the relevant extradition request has fulfilled all conditions required in the provisions of the said treaty, whether formal or sustentative, as it has been proven that the written application was submitted by the requesting party accompanied with the name of the person to be extradited with the arrest warrant issued against him by the competent judicial authority concerned with the offences punishable by the las of the states executing such treaty. Thus, in enforcement of the said treaty and in response to the above mentioned extradition request necessitating a reply, the extradition request shall be honoured and the objection raised shall be considered groundless. For the foregoing, the objections raised are baseless and dismissible," the Dubai court had said.
Lastly the court said, " for the causes, the court decided to dismiss the two objections bearing numbers 881 and 883 of 2018 and considered the possibility of extraditing Christian James Michel to the Indian competent authorities," the order dated November 19 2018 had said.