Delhi's Patiala House court on Saturday extended the CBI custody of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, by four days. Early in the day Michel was produced before the court in connection to the case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was granted with an additional 5 days custody of Michel, sought extension for five more days. The agency said that it wanted to confront Michel with some more documents and, therefore, sought furter remand to collaborate with some evidence.
"AgustaWestland Case: Patiala House Court extends CBI custody of alleged middleman Christian Michel by 4 days," the news agency ANI reported.
#AgustaWestland Case: Patiala House Court extends CBI custody of alleged middleman #ChristianMichel by 4 days. Michel's lawyer Rosemary told the court that she has some more documents regarding the case that she wants to submit in the court. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/hxB72Xk6qh— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2018
While seeking remands, the CBI said, "We might have to take Christian Michel to WTC Pawan hans Bombay to take the investigation forward. Need to further confront him with documents. Michel has "categorically said" that he used to take money. Therefore, we need to further question him.
"We also need to take more handwriting specimen. ChristianMichel writes painfully slow," the agency added. The CBI also argued that Michel is not cooperating in the investigation process and is evasive in giving answers during interrogation in the VVIP chopper case.
The preliminary investigation by the CBI also suggests that Michel had borne the air travel expenses of two serving/retired Indian Air Force officials and their family members amounting to RS 92 lakh during 2009-2013 period.
Lawyer Rosemary Patrizi has appeared for Michel at the court. Patrizi had represented Michel for five years in Italy and Switzerland. While being questioned about her credentials, Rosemary presented her passport and Milan court ID to Patiala House court, which allowed her to talk to Michel separately for 10 minutes.
Michel's counsel Ajio K Joseph also moved an application seeking to remove the Interpol notice against him. The court, however, did not allow Patrizi and Joseph to meet Michel in CBI custody. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on December 19.
Michel was brought to India following his extradition by the UAE early in December and kept at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi under heavy security overnight. The subsequent day he was produced in Delhi's Patiala House Court where Aljo K Joseph who is representing him moved a bail plea. Joseph was only representing Michel in his professional capacity and had nothing to do with him.