The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing British citizen Christian Michel’s plea seeking bail in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
The ED told the Supreme Court that during the course of Michel’s custodial interrogation, the accused had tried to pass confidential papers to his counsel at the time of legal access.
“Further investigation in the present case is still ongoing and many crucial documents are required to be collected across jurisdictions for the purpose of the investigation and therefore it is strongly apprehended that he might try to tamper the witnesses or evidence and obstruct the judicial process,” the ED said.
Christian Michel James, during his custodial interrogation, undertook to provide the bank statements of his companies and the agreements and other relevant documents, the ED told the court.
He was also interrogated in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after a trial court’s permission and that time too he undertook to provide the said documents through the assistance of his lawyers. However, no information has been provided till date, the ED said.
Michel is accused of having played a pivotal role in the case, from being a middleman engaged by M/s Augusta Westland for obtaining confidential information regarding the procurement process of VVIP helicopters by the central government and was admittedly paid 42 million euros for influencing the contract in its favour under the guise of five contracts (two of them revised time and again) through two of his firms.
The ED also said Michel’s role is clearly established and the offence of money laundering is squarely made out against him.