Christian Michel writes to UK PM seeking action on his case


Christian Michel, the alleged AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal middleman, has written a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatening to go on a ‘hunger strike’.

In a 9-page letter, Michel has written that he will commence his hunger strike on November 25 until the UK government takes action on his case.

The letter dated October 5, 2021 stated that he was brought to India from Dubai under now accepted rendition that has also been confirmed as such by the UN Human Rights Council.

Michel was extradited to India on December 5, 2018 from the United Arab Emirates.

On his arrival in India, he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and days later, arrested by the financial probe agency Enforcement Directorate.

Since then, he has been lodged in judicial custody at Tihar Jail.

Michel had recently sought bail in connection with the cases registered against him by the CBI and the ED on the grounds that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) concluded his detention was arbitrary.

His lawyers had said that they planned to petition the UN to take further action following India’s failure to act on WGAD recommendation in March this year that Michel should be immediately freed.

Indian courts have rejected the bail petition of Michel on a number of occasions.

On September 19 last year, the CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet against 15 accused, including Michel and accused-turned-approver Rajiv Saxena, in connection with the alleged corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

The CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet in this case on September 1, 2017 against then IAF chief S.P. Tyagi and 11 other accused.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.