Christian Michel moves bail plea in Delhi court

New Delhi (IANS) British national Christian Michel, the middleman accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, on Friday moved his bail plea in a Delhi court.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar, asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file a response on his bail plea, listed the matter for next hearing on February 12.

Michel has sought bail saying he has been in custody from December 4, 2018, and in terms of Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal procedure, the probe was supposed to be completed by February 3.

However, the charge sheet was not filed against him within the stipulated 60-day period, so he should be released on bail, the defense counsel told the court.

Michel was extradited to India on December 4 from the United Arab Emiratesm (UAE). He is one of the three middlemen being investigated by the CBI and the ED in the VVIP chopper deal.

ED arrested him on December 22, 2018.

In January 2018, the ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities seeking extradition of Michel. Both the ED and the CBI had filed charge sheets in bribery cases in Indian courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued against the accused.

In its charge sheet, the CBI had named former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF Vice Chief J.S. Gujral and advocate Gautam Khaitan as the four Indians involved in the scam.

Others named in the charge sheet included Giuseppe Orsi, the former chief of Italian defense and aerospace major Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, apart from middlemen Michel, Haschke, and Gerosa.
 

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