December 24, 2018:
On Saturday, Delhi Court granted the ED seven days custody of British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.
The ED, which had arrested Michel in the money laundering case and produced him before Special Judge Arvind Kumar, had sought his 15-day custody stating that it required to “unearth how the tainted money was routed and laundered, to find out the roles of the co-accused, to find out the money trail and to confront the voluminous documents collected”.
The ED told the court, “Lawyer Gautam Khaitan is the mastermind behind laundering the proceeds of the crime in the second channel. Investigation has revealed there is some nexus between Michel, Haschke, Gerosa and Khaitan.”
It said, “Custodial interrogation of Michel is required to unearth how the kickbacks were routed and laundered, the carriers involved in facilitating the money laundering, the places where said proceeds of crime are parked and how or by whom the said tainted money was placed, layered and integrated into the system. Michel’s custody is required to unearth the deep-rooted conspiracy and identification of his accomplices, including the IAF officials, bureaucrats and politicians, who gained undue advantage, and secondly to ascertain the proceeds of the crime in their receipt for assisting AgustaWestland to procure the contract.”
Michel’s counsels Aljo K Joseph and Vishnu Sankar opposed the petition, saying that it was malafide.