The Enforcement Directorate has made some sensational revelations in its supplementary chargsesheet filed against Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.
As per sources, the chargesheet revealed that Michel, during questioning revealed that 'AP' stands for Ahmed Patel and 'Fam' stands for Family. The code names 'AP' and 'FAM' were used in Christian Michel's diary which was seized by the ED.
According to reports, Michel also acknowledged knowing 'Mrs Gandhi' and revealed that he was in touch with her and knew her since 1986-87. However, the chargesheet did not elaborate what was the context in which 'Mrs Gandhi' was named and what was her full name.
Earlier on December 29, 2018, the ED had told the Patiala House Court that Christian Michel named one 'Mrs Gandhi' during his interrogation.
In its chargsheet, the ED also told that according to a letter by Michel, former prime minister Manmohan Singh was under pressure by from some party leaders.
The 52-page chargesheet, filed before Special Judge Arvind Kumar who has listed the matter for Saturday, also mentions meetings with 'the Italian lady's son' who 'will be the next Prime Minister' of India.The dispatch published by the ED also talks about 'son's power growing in the party and mother unaware of full facts'.
A dispatch dated 1st October 2009, reads:
“Meeting at the beginning of the week with regards to the Italian lady’s son. The gentlemen I met knew about our activity and felt we were well placed. Explained that this was well known but that we could not wait any longer. The gentleman confirmed that the son will be next Prime Minister and his power in the party is growing day by day. Hence, the Finance Minister’s extreme anxiety at the son’s phenomenal rise. The son will be asked this weekend to raise this matter with his mother as the mother is certainly not aware of all the facts".
A dispatch dated 15th March 2008 reads:
"As Mrs Gandhi is the driving force behind the V.I.P., she will not fly any more in the MI-8. Mrs Gandhi and her closet advisers are the people the High Commissioner should target.
According to the chargesheet, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke “made payment to defence officials, bureaucrat, political leaders of the ruling party in lieu of their decision influencing the deal of purchase of helicopter in favour of AgustaWestland.”
The chargesheet said according to the "budget sheet, 30 million euros were paid to Air Force officers, bureaucrats and politicians" to swing the deal in the favour of AgustaWestland for purchasing the choppers to ferry VVIPs across the country.
"Christian Michel James has further disclosed various abbreviations used in the budget sheet, which contains the details of the payments made to Air Force officials, bureaucrats and political persons.
"The recipients of the kickback include several categories of persons namely Air Force officials, bureaucrats including defence ministry officials and top political leaders of the then ruling party. As per Christian Michel James, 'AP' means Ahmed Patel and 'Fam' means Family," the ED said.
At another place in the chargesheet, Michel said, "I cannot say what Haschke was thinking. As a guess, I would think he was talking about Ahmed Patel."
Regarding "Fam", he said it "could mean family".
While the identity of the said Ahmed Patel is not clear, it is understood that it refers to the senior Congress leader. The veteran leader has not been named in the PMLA FIR of the case.
The chargesheet further mentioned about 'kickbacks worth 70 Million Euros' being given to 'defense officials and top political leaders'.
"It is an undisputed fact that kickback of at last Euro 70 million was received by two chains of middlemen represented by Christian Michel James and Guido Haschke from AgustaWestland for successful conclusion of deal in their favour," the chargesheet read.
The central probe agency, in its 3,000-page supplementary chargesheet with 52 main pages, also named David Syms, Michel's alleged business partner, and two firms owned by them -- Global Trade and Commerce Ltd and Global Services FZE -- as accused.
Michel, who was extradited from the UAE in December last year, is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with the CBI and ED cases against him related to the AgustaWestland deal scam.
He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has mentioned names of several political leaders and three Indian journalists in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal supplementary chargesheet.
The chargesheet mentions that Michel used media personalities as evident from trail of payment made to one Raju Santhanam. It mentioned that "as per Casana sheet, a payment of Euro 205860.40 was made to Ashwin Santhanam, son of Raju Santhanam in addition to booking an air ticket for him and his family for a total amount of Rs 26.50 lakh".
Michel has accepted that he had made such payments and admitted to hiring services of Guy Douglas to influence the media and this fact is further corroborated by act of using influence on journalists "Manu Pubby and Shekhar Gupta to tone down the article in Indian Express", said sources.
"Michel also deposed that Douglas was in touch with several journalists."
(With agency inputs)