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Christian Michel's lawyer a Youth Congress member, says appeared in professional capacity

My relation with Congress is separate, my profession is separate, says Aljo K Joseph.

Christian Michel's lawyer a Youth Congress member, says appeared in professional capacity
Pic Courtesy: ANI

Indian Youth Congress legal department in-charge Aljo K Joseph, who is representing AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal middleman Christian Michel, on Wednesday said that what he does as part of his profession is not linked with his association with the grand old party.

Talking to news agency ANI, the Congress member said that he appeared for Christian Michel in his “professional capacity”.

“I am an actively practicing advocate. I appeared for him (Christian Michel) in my professional capacity. If somebody asks me to appear on behalf of a client...I've only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with Congress,” said Joseph.

He further said, “My relation with Congress is separate, my profession is separate. One of my friends, who was having some Dubai connections, through him the lawyer in Italy had requested it. So I was just helping in appearing and assisting him in this matter.”

The controversy over Joseph representing Michel, who was extradited and brought to India on Tuesday night, erupted on Wednesday as a special court in the national capital sent the AgustaWestland middleman to five-day CBI custody.

While sending Michel to CBI custody for five days, the court allowed his counsel one hour in morning and another hour in evening for consultations.

According to the CBI, the operation to extradite the middleman was conducted under the guidance of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and was coordinated by agency’s in-charge director M Nageswara Rao.

News agency ANI quoted the CBI officials as saying that a team led by the central agency’s Joint Director, A Sai Manohar, was sent to Dubai for the purpose of extraditing Christian Michel.

The ED, in its chargesheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that the Britishman received Euro 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.

The money was nothing but "kickbacks" paid by the firm to execute the 12 helicopter deal in favour of the firm in "guise of" genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country, according to the chargesheet.