Thursday, December 06, 2018

CBI questions Christian Michel in AgustaWestland scam: Agency to focus on documentary evidence and middleman's aide's in IAF

New Delhi: Was it merely a coincidence that Rajiv Tyagi, cousin of former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi and Sonya Mehra, director in Christian Michel firm, boarded the same Air India flight Number AI 332 on 15 May, 2012?What were the business dealings that prompted another key figure Gautam Khaitan to make 52 trips to Dubai, base of Christian Michel, between 2004 to 2013? How did he manage to procure confidential documents related to Indian defence deals?
These, among many others, are the three are vital questions for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to establish the linkages of now arrested British middleman along with other players in the VVIP chopper scam. According to sources, Michel would soon be confronted with documentary evidence to unearth deep rooted conspiracy and to identify his accomplices including the Indian Air Force officials, bureaucrats and politicians who allegedly influenced the deal in favor of AgustaWestland.

Although Tyagi, who has been charged by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case, had publicly denied any relationship with Michel immediately after the scam surfaced in 2012. Informed government sources said Michel will also be confronted with another document that was signed jointly by him and another middleman Guido Haschke detailing alleged payoffs in India.

The CBI has claimed that Michel was pursuing the VVIP chopper deal at different levels with the help of a wide network in India and abroad. The agency also claimed that Michel was giving misleading information in media to divert attention from his role in the scam. Although, he had admitted of having a working relationship with Haschke, Michel had claimed the relationship went sour in 2008 over some payment issue. The evidence, sources claimed, however suggests that Michel and Haschke were in Delhi together after the deal was signed with AgustaWestland to buy 12 AW-101 helicopters. They would also like to confront Michel with evidence that links Michel associate Christine Spliid with Tyagi brothers. Sources said they have certain documents to prove that they were working together.
06/12/18 Yatish Yadav/First Post
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