AgustaWestland Chopper Scam: Alleged Middleman Claims Modi Govt Pressurised Him To Implicate Gandhi Family

05/05/2016 4:07 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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AgustaWestland A 109

The alleged middleman in the VVIP chopper scam, Christian Michel, has claimed that the Modi government had put pressure on him to implicate "any member of the Gandhi family" in exchange of all charges being dropped against him.

"At this time it was made very clear to me through a number of obtuse channels, if I was willing to denounce and member of the Gandhi family relating to the so called VVIP helicopter scandal all charges and investigations against me would be dropped," Michel wrote to the Registrar of the International Tribunal on 23 December 2015, reported India Today.

In the letter, he claimed to have refused to cut such a deal, which resulted in an arrest warrant that was issued against him within a week "without so much as summons", he alleged.

A few weeks later, the Indian investigating agencies contacted Interpol, "and used this mechanism to put further pressure on me to agree to their political agenda," he wrote. The letter was written four months before an Italian court delivered its verdict in the Agusta case, overturning a lower court verdict.

There is currently an international arrest warrant against him. He told India Today that he had sued Swiss-Italian businessman Guido Haschke, who is believed to be the key middleman in the scam, alleging that Haschke had forged some documents given to Italian courts. These documents he was referring to include the names of 'Signora Gandhi' (Sonia Gandhi), and 'AP' (possibly Ahmed Patel, Indian Member of Parliament and political secretary to the Congress President).

"I am ready to submit documents and proof related to the case through the Indian embassy," he told India Today, speaking from Dubai. He added that he had no intention of turning approver in the case, and that he would appoint an Indian lawyer to fight the case here.

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