Christian Michel may have become the poster boy for Indian enforcement agencies, but the alleged Agusta middleman, extradited by Dubai on December 4 this year, has not opened up at all to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The cooperation they were hoping for from the Christian Michel in the 3600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal has not materialised, as informed by sources to NDTV.
Michel has been in CBI custody for almost two weeks now, but he is still tight-lipped about his business dealings and who got the benefit of Rs 500-odd crore allegedly paid in India to help aeronautics company
AgustaWestland bag the contract for a dozen helicopters for VVIPs during UPA-1.
Though the CBI has told a court that Michel claimed to be dyslexic, NDTV has learnt that his tactic has been to counter every question by deflecting it to the other middleman being investigated in the case, Guido Haschke.
For almost two weeks now, since National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval oversaw the process of his extradition from Dubai, Christian Michel has been staying at room number 2 of the CBI guest house at the headquarters. Keeping in mind of his high profile status, the agency has ensured that he is comfortable and in relative luxury in the suite which has air-conditioning and other facilities.
If the CBI thought he would decipher the notes recovered with payments marked against acronyms like ‘fam’ and ‘AP’, they have been left disappointed.
Sources further told NDTV that Michel has denied knowledge of these and said Guido Haschke made those payments. Apparently, these entries have been in the media glare as the BJP alleged ‘fam’ referred to the Gandhis and ‘AP’ was Sonia Gandhi’s political treasurer Ahmed Patel.
If sources are to be believe, when the CBI confronted Christian Michel with payments to various companies made from his accounts, he said he was directed to do so by other companies. Reportedly, all of the CBI team’s top officers, including Joint director Sai Manohar, tried their luck but failed to get Christian Michel to spill. Also, his lawyers are now moving for his bail application.