AgustaWestland: Never Met Tyagi, Says Middleman Christian Michel
British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, told CNN-News18 on Friday that he had never met former Air Force chief SP Tyagi who was arrested by the CBI on Friday.
New Delhi: British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, told CNN-News18 on Friday that he had never met former Air Force chief SP Tyagi who was arrested by the CBI on Friday.
Michel, however, admitted to meeting the former IAF chief’s cousin Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi at a party. “He was introduced to me as a person who was working in the energy sector and an influential person. I was never told formally that the Tyagis were working for Agusta or helping Agusta in the chopper deal,” Michel told CNN-News18.
Tyagi was arrested on Friday along with Julie and lawyer Gautam Khaitan for alleged corruption in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.
The Rs 3600 crore to supply 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland came under the scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribe was paid by the company to clinch the deal. Tyagi has been accused of influencing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland during his tenure as the IAF chief. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Michel had written to the CBI in August 2016, expressing willingness to join the probe but had requested that the CBI withdraw a pending red corner notice against him and that he be allowed to keep a video recording of the interrogation.
On December 2, a Delhi court issued a fresh non-bailable warrant against Michel after the prosecution submitted that the alleged middleman was out of India.
In a December 4 interview to CNN-News18, Michel said he was afraid of being arrested on landing in India. “Will not accept plea bargain if offered. I have feel I am being targeted in this case. I am too small. I have never met the Gandhis, AK Antony (then defence minister) and Pranab Mukherjee (then finance minister),” Michel had said.
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