Sonia, Political, AP and Fam: Here is what James Michel will help CBI decode
New Delhi, Dec 6: " Dear Peter, since Mrs Gandhi is the driving force behind VIP will no longer fly in the MI-18. Mrs Gandhi and her closest advisers are the people who the British ambassador should target. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh obviously main figure, then there is secretary Ahmad Patel."
This was a letter allegedly written by extradited middleman, James Christian Michel to Peter Hulet, then India region sales and liaison head of AgustaWestland.
This letter was part of the judgment delivered by an Italian court in 2016. The 225 page judgment reveals references to Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Oscar Fernandes and Ahmed Patel. The letter in question was seized from the home of middleman Guido Haschke. This is the letter that has been cited to argue that the top UPA leadership helped AgustaWestland swing the deal in its favour.
Michel, the alleged middleman who was extradited from Dubai to India will hold the key to unravel the mystery behind this letter. He would help the CBI understand whether they had got in touch with the above mentioned leaders to help swing the deal in their favour.
The other interesting aspect about this case are the handwritten notes on how the total kickbacks were divided between political leaders, Air Force Officials and bureaucrats.
The other mystery is a coded line that suggests that kickbacks were paid for 'Political,' 'AP' and 'Fam.' This speaks about a total kickback of 16 million Euros that was paid. Further the note also says that bureaucrats in the government be allowed 8.4 million Euros and for the Air Force officials 6 million Euros be given.
The other time that the name of Sonia Gandhi had cropped up was when Michel's lawyer raked it up. He said that when Michel was in Dubai, his client was being forced to sign a false confessional statement in which he was asked to name Sonia Gandhi. The CBI officers however denied this stating that they never questioned Michel, when he was in Dubai.
With Michel back in India, he would help the CBI decode these handwritten notes. He would also help the CBI understand better who are the leaders that he was in touch to allegedly swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.