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UK: We will continue to raise Christian Michel’s case with Delhi until it is resolved

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LONDON: British Foreign Office officials told TOI that the British government continues to increase AgustaWestland Chopper Scam British national accused Christian Michelthe case of India to “highlight the importance of making progress to the Indian government”.
“We will continue to do this until his case is resolved,” an official told TOI.
Michel was detained at Tihar Jail since December 2018 when he was extradited to India from Dubai. He previously worked in the United Arab Emirates as an intermediary for a subsidiary of AgustaWestland. He is accused of paying bribes to Indian officials to help AgustaWestland win a contract for 12 helicopters worth €556.2 million (Rs 5,011 crore) in February 2010. The ED, in its indictment filed in June 2016, had alleged that Michel had received euros. 30 million (around Rs 270 crore) from AgustaWestland. Following allegations of corruption, India canceled the contract in 2013.
Michel, however, claims his extradition from Dubai to India was the quid pro quo for India’s handover of Princess Latifa, daughter of the Ruler of Dubai, to the Dubai authorities on March 4, 2018.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last raised Michel’s case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 9 during the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, British Minister for South Asia, who regularly raises Michel’s case with his Indian counterparts, recently raised this case with Interior Minister Ajay Kumar Bhalla on February 22.
Consular staff at the British High Commission in Delhi regularly visit Michel in detention, the last time on March 27, TOI was told. Foreign Ministry officials are in contact with Michel’s family and last met them on November 30, 2023.
In 2021, Michel began a hunger strike in Tihar jail, saying it was his only way to make his voice heard. Last week, the Supreme Court refused to consider his request for bail.
A UK government spokesperson told TOI: “We continue to provide consular assistance to Mr Michel and his family…”
On November 27, 2020, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had issued a notice that Michel was arbitrarily detained by India and had requested his release by May 27, 2021. But India had then said that this opinion was not legally binding.



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