India has given the British High Commission consular access to the accused middleman Christian Michel in the AugustaWestland helicopter deal case, who is presently lodged in an Indian Jail.
Michel is one of three middlemen being probed by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case involving the purchase of VVIP AgustaWestland helicopters. He was extradited to India from the United Arab Emirates on 4 December last year.
"Our staff personnel are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare," the British High Commission said in a statement, according to ANI.
British High Commission in India: "Our staff are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare.” https://t.co/XgMFaUYd2Q— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2019
The helicopter deal was signed and scrapped by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the Congress party. The investigation into the deal has now turned into the subject of a political fight between the opposition party Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The face-off is quite intense, especially as Congress has gone on the offensive against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, alleging a scam in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet purchase deal signed with France.
Meanwhile, Christian Michel has also moved an application before a special CBI court seeking permission to make international calls to his family, friends and to his lawyers. The court has asked the jail superintendent to submit a report on January 14.