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CBI Await MEA Confirmation About AgustaWestland Middleman Christian Michel's Extradition

CBI sources said the agency was in touch with MEA officials but they did not receive any official communication from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

PTI

Updated:September 19, 2018, 7:25 PM IST
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CBI Await MEA Confirmation About AgustaWestland Middleman Christian Michel's Extradition
File photo of Christian Michel.
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New Delhi: The CBI said Wednesday that it was awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on reports about the extradition of Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in AgustaWestland helicopter scam case, from the UAE.

A Dubai court had reportedly cleared the extradition of Michel to India on September 2, 2018.

CBI sources said the agency was in touch with MEA officials but they did not receive any official communication from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"We are awaiting official communication in this regard," one of the sources said.

The CBI had filed charge sheet in the matter in September last year, naming former IAF Chief S P Tyagi as one of the accused.

Besides him, the agency has also charge-sheeted retired Air Marshal J S Gujral along with eight others, including five foreign nationals. Michel is one of the three foreign country-based middlemen charge-sheeted in the matter.

The agency has alleged that there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (approximately Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.

The CBI had earlier alleged that during Tyagi's tenure as air force chief, the Air Force conceded to reduce the mandatory service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres.

The Air Force was earlier vehemently opposing the service ceiling reduction on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons.

It has claimed that reduction of the service ceiling, or the maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally, allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to come into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.
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