Agusta Westland chopper deal: Turning approver is out of question, says Italian middleman Christian Michel

Italian middleman Christian Michel has said that turning approver in the Rs 3,600-crore Agusta Westland chopper deal was 'out of question'.

Last Updated: May 04, 2016, 00:22 AM IST
Agusta Westland chopper deal: Turning approver is out of question, says Italian middleman Christian Michel
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Delhi: Italian middleman Christian Michel has said that turning approver in the Rs 3,600-crore Agusta Westland chopper deal was 'out of question'.

In an interview to India Today, Michel said, "I am ready to submit documents and proof related to the case through the Indian embassy.

He also said that he "will be hiring an Indian lawyer very soon" and that he was "willing to move Indian courts very soon."

Michel maintained that he had never met the Gandhi (Sonia and Rahul) family.

He was further quoted as saying, "I have sued Hascke and am willing to give proof."

At the same time, he clarified, "I gave no favours to any journos either. The job was to monitor and follow media."

Meanwhile, former IAF chief SP Tyagi was today questioned by CBI for around 10 hours over his alleged links with middlemen in the chopper deal during which he was also quizzed about the source of funding for his post-retirement trip to Italy.

It was for the second time in three years that the retired Air Chief Marshal was being questioned in connection with the VVIP chopper deal but it was for the first time he was quizzed after an order of the Italian court on the matter. 

He was earlier quizzed in 2013.

The Milan Court of Appeals - equivalent of an Indian High Court - has given details of how alleged bribes were paid by helicopter-maker Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland to Indian officials through middlemen to clinch the deal.

The order reportedly mentions the name of Tyagi at several points.

CBI had registered a case against Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

It is alleged by Italian prosecutors that bribes to clinch the deal were paid through middlemen and routed through a consultancy contract between AgustaWestland and companies owned by middlemen.

(With PTI inputs)