PM Modi Sought To Cut Deal With Italy For Evidence Against Sonia: British Arms Agent

02/02/2016 4:19 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 13: Prime Minister Narender Modi, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, deputy speaker of lok sabha M Thambidurai, Sr. BJP Leader Lal Krishan Advani, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi after flower tribute to martyrs who sacrificed their lives during Parliament terrorist attack at Parliament House on December 13, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the martyrs of the deadly terror attack on Parliament. On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists had stormed Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons. The five terrorists were also shot dead. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

A British arms agent who is wanted by Indian investigators for his alleged role in the 2013 helicopter scam, known as 'Choppergate', has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ready to cut a deal with the Italian government and "assist in solving the case" against two Italian marines in exchange for information on the Gandhi family's role on the corruption scandal. Christian Michel, 54, has written to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Seas in Hamburg and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague with the allegations, reported The Telegraph.

"I know these are serious allegations, but I stand by them," Michel told the newspaper, even as the Indian ministry of external affairs rubbished the letter's contents and spokesperson Vikas Swarup called it "ridiculous".

The 2013 helicopter scam concerns the purchase of a new fleet of helicopters from manufacturer AgustaWestland by the Indian government, where several senior government officials were allegedly bribed. It has been alleged that several politicians received kickbacks for the deal on the choppers, purchased to carry the highest Indian dignitaries on official visits. Michel is one of the people wanted by Indian investigation agencies in the case. He has now claimed that Modi was willing to help in the case against two Italian marines accused of shooting down two Kerala fishermen in February 2012 if the Italian government provides intel against Sonia Gandhi and her family in the corruption scandal, reported Charu Sudan Kasturi in The Telegraph.

According to the report, Modi allegedly made the offer to the Italian prime minister during a "brush-by" (unplanned, or unofficial) meeting in New York last year during the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

Michel's letter dated 23 December, 2015 says:

"At this meeting, the issue of the two marines was discussed. The Indian PM proposed to the Italian PM that in return for any evidence that the key adviser to Finmeccanica/ AgustaWestland (this is a reference to myself) had any relationship to any member of the Gandhi family, the honourable PM would assist in solving the case against the two Italian marines."

Read the full report on The Telegraph here.

Like Us On Facebook |
Follow Us On Twitter |
Contact HuffPost India

Also See On HuffPost:

India's LGBT Movement: A Timeline

More On This Topic