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A Special CBI Court at Delhi’s Patiala House Court today sent British businessman Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland case, to judicial custody.
Michel, who was under the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) until today, was produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar at Patiala House Court.
Advocates Aljo K Joseph, Sriram Parakkat, and Vishnu Shankar, appearing for Michel, sought the court’s permission to place on record the communication that was carried out between the ED and Michel’s Italian attorney, Rosemary Patrizi.
In one communication, the ED sought certain information and documents relating to Michel’s bank accounts. The other two communications that followed were from Patrizi responding to the same request. These communications were made through Michel’s lawyers in India.
Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh vehemently opposed placing these communications on record. The court said that the party was free to file the same, but it would be the court’s prerogative whether or not to take it on record.
Singh told the court today that there are documents which seem to suggest that the Italian courts, which acquitted Michel of all charges, were misled.
Singh also added that there are other deals done and Hawala links that might need further investigation.
The court proceeded to grant judicial custody till February 26. Soft copies of the supplementary charge sheet will also be provided to Michel’s counsel within three days.
On the last date of hearing, the court had extended the ED’s custody of Michel by seven days. Prior to that, he was remanded to ED custody on December 22. After being extradited to India, he was produced before the Patiala House Court on December 5, and sent to CBI custody for five days. On subsequent hearings, the custody was extended for another five days, and then for four more days.
Read the order: