New Delhi: Middleman Christian Michel, who is wanted in India for his role in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery scandal, has said that the Italian government may make public a private conversation between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Matteo Renzi.
The conversation could be released if India fails to release an Italian marine being held in the country on charges of killing Indian fishermen, Michel suggested in an interview to NDTV news channel.
It has been claimed that PM Modi held a private conversation with his Italian counterpart Renzi on the sidelines of a UN meeting wherein he allegedly sought information against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Michel told NDTV that if Delhi fails to free Marine Salvatore Girone, the Italian government "may do something unpleasant" and that "unpleasant" move would be to "admit to a meeting" between Modi and Renzi.
Both India and Italy have so far rejected claims of a private meeting between their prime ministers.
As per the claims, Modi had offered to free the two Italian marines (Massimiliano Latorre has already been allowed to go home due to health issues) facing murder charge in India in return for information on Sonia Gandhi with regard to the Agusta chopper deal.
Sonia's name has been mentioned in an Italian court judgement, along with her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former PM Manmohan Singh, convicting top officials of AgustaWestland and its parent firm Finmeccanica.
Michel said during the interview that the meeting happened but it was not a formal, bilateral one.
"Under the auspices of the UN bilateral discussions there was no meeting. I am talking about a casual brush-by meeting which has plausible deniability attached to it," he was quoted as saying by the news channel.