CBI gets custody of Christian Michel. Why this will worry Sonia Gandhi

Christian Michel's revelations will not portend well for Sonia Gandhi

Christian Michel's revelations will not portend well for Sonia Gandhi
Christian Michel's revelations will not portend well for Sonia Gandhi

Christian Michel will be in custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for five days and is expected to be extended to 14 days. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also expected to join the interrogation. And after that, it is very certain that he will be in judicial custody for many months. This will be a huge tension for former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was described by Michel as the main “driving force” in the controversial purchase of 12 VVIP Helicopters from Italian firm AgustaWestland. What is the role of Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel in this controversial Rs.3600 crores ($511 million) worth deal where the commission/ bribe is believed to be around Rs.375 crores ($53 million) for favouring AgustaWestland by changing many norms?

The documents and communications seized by Italian investigators from Michel’s partner agent Guido Haschke’s home in 2012 in Switzerland clearly establishes the involvement of Sonia Gandhi and her then political secretary Ahmed Patel’s in the bribery. Photos of Sonia and Ahmed Patel were shown to Haschke in an Italian court as verification and he had confirmed it.  Moreover, in the court, Haschke admitted that he mainly dealt with the top brass of Indian Air Force and senior officials in Defence Ministry for the execution of this corrupt deal, while Christian Michel handled the political leadership, where the major part of the bribe money has gone. The Italian Judgment annexed a handwritten chart of the distribution of bribe money too. Ahmed Patel is named as AP in the note.

Sonia Gandhi’s name [signora (Mrs) GANDHI] is mentioned four times, two times each on page 193 and 204 of the Italian court judgment, which in 2016 convicted many officials of Finmeccanica, the firm which manufactures AgustaWestland VVIP Choppers.

The judgment also annexed another letter from Michel to Haschke. The letter dated March 15, 2008, seized by investigators shows the main middleman Christian Michel writing to Peter Hulet, the then India region sales and liaison head of the helicopter company. The letter states that Sonia is the main driving force behind this deal and she will no longer fly in the existing MI-8 choppers. The letter is quoted verbatim in the judgment. This shows that either Sonia herself or Ahmed Patel must have conveyed this decision to Michel.

Christian Michel’s family has had a long association with Sonia Gandhi’s family from the 1980s. Michel’s father Wolfgang Michel was a multi-nation aviation industry handler in many countries ranging from UK, Russia to Libya. It is an open secret that Sonia Gandhi in the early 90s stayed at Wolfgang Michel’s home when she visited London. This was reported in media citing many former Research and Analytical Wing (RAW) agents, who were deputed by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to track Sonia’s movements in London. The RAW agents promptly filed reports with photos of Sonia’s association with the Michel family in London.

Another communication annexed in the Italian judgment is very interesting. Page Nos. 163 and 164 names Manmohan Singh and details that Orsi used Italian leadership and diplomats to contact the then Prime Minister to scuttle the probe by non-cooperation from the Indian government side. In Page 163, the Judgment produces a hand-written note by Orsi from jail in July 2013 asking his people to contact then Italian Prime Minister Monti or Ambassador Terracciano to call Manmohan Singh.

“Call Monti or Amb. Terracciano in my name to ask him to call the PM Singh,” said the note seized from the prison cell of Orsi. The Judgment in several areas blames the non-cooperation from Indian authorities including Defence Ministry and other probe agencies in 2013. These things clearly show that not only in the deal-clinching, but also in sabotaging the Italian probe was done from UPA Government, which was totally under the control of Sonia Gandhi. In April 2016 PGurus published details of the Italian Judgment exposing the role of Sonia Gandhi in this murky deal[1].

The coming days will be harsh for Sonia Gandhi when Christian Michel in CBI custody starts spilling the beans of the kickbacks in AgustaWestland deal. It must be remembered that this is not the only deal Michel clinched during Sonia’s regime, who was a frequenter to Delhi in October 2012. Michel was also in touch with Congress leaders till mid-2017, when CBI thru Interpol approached Dubai authorities. In June 2016, Michel even came out in the media to give a clean chit to Sonia, when the Italian judgment exposed Sonia’s role in the deal. It is known that Kamal Nath’s son Bakul Nath was behind this pre-arranged media interview to save Sonia. This incident shows that Sonia Gandhi and her managers were in touch with Christian Michel.

Indian politics is now waiting to see what the revelations of Christian Michel are during the custodial interrogation of CBI.

Note:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 70.51 Rupees.

References:

[1] Italian Court judgment exposing Sonia Gandhi & Manmohan Singh in AgustaWestland Deal (Full Report)Apr 26, 2016, PGurus.com

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Hope the courts don’t disappoint. Probably much more evidence was available for Bofors, but all the crooks still got away and the crooked family continued to thrive. Best wishes to the investigators to build a watertight case.

  2. Michel brought to India seems a real breakthrough in the investigation of the case. Now the Govt. must fully empower the officials handling the case and do their job in a thorough and fearless manner All those involved must be immediately taken into custody for detailed interrogation, howsoever mighty they may be. This is the last chance for Modi govt. to prove their mettle vis-a-vis corruption cases. There is no need to fear criticism from Congress and other opposition parties, as by now people know that they will cry hoarse on any anti-corruption action as political vendatta and witch hunting and as a election stunt. Media also will atleast covertly extend their support perhaps for favours done and expected.

  3. Desh ki Bahu !! Indulges in big scams, Corruption and also leads a luxurious life at tax payers cost!
    What a Democracy! Desh ka Damaad follows…..

  4. Of course, Michel’s custody will give sleepless nights to Madam.

    But how far this will help in obtaining a conviction remains to be seen.

    Michel should be prepared to record his confession before a Magistrate

    Whatever he may sing before CBI may not be admissible in the court

    Reports indicate, so far the Mafia has been successful in erasing the money trail

    It seems HSBC another ‘British Mafia Bank’, which has since taken over the the ‘Banks through which Michel was disbursing kickbacks to Madam & AP’ is trying to protect the Italian Mafia by claiming PREVIOUS RECORDS are UNAVAILABLE & UNTRACEABLE

    HSBC needs to be subjugated by arresting the CEO & other related Executives involved in this deal

    UNLESS THE MONEY TRAIL IS IRREFUTABLY & INCONTROVERTIBLY ESTABLISHED, MICHEL & THE ITALIAN MAFIA WILL REMAIN ELUSIVE

    • All know that conviction is difficult. The process itself will take a decade and then we have appeals. It does not matter. Public judgement is crucial. The things happening before 2019 elections is important. Though the shameless Gandhis and PC et el will campaign crying political vengeance, the voters will know. Besides, then who will dare to accept Gandhis for MAHAGATHBANDHAN? It is dead today itself. Modi back as PM for the next term will be end of Congress in its present form and leaders. The objective achieved. Conviction? Why bother today? ……. Now I understand why CBI Chief Verma ouster was orchestrated by bringing Asthana in the picture. Really clever. Well timed plan indeed. Anyway good for the country.

  5. Indian courts are so generous they give bail to all the sundries who loots public money. By the time they are punished these people would have left the country live fugitives.

    • Now you know why the Coal Secretary was given 3-year jail term? So he gets bail as a right. (If 4+ year terms – bail not possible as per law)

    • Gentleman,

      The scam was exposed even while UPA was still in power

      The bribe-givers were under prosecution in an Italian Court at the fag end of UPA regime

      Do you expect the bribe-takers to remain silent?

      To assuage the Indian public-ire, the Italian Mafia was forced to (1) cancel the deal (2) make A SHOW of ordering an Investigation

      But it is an open secret nothing moved on the Indian side after investigation was ordered

      Even requests from Italian investigation Agencies to India to cooperate with them met with COLD RESPNSE

  6. I do not know how long the trial will go on in the August Westland A101 Helicopter scam in Trial Court, HC & SC and secure convictions for all the accused, conspirators involved and retrieve the bribe money lost to the tune of Rs.375 crores. One good thing has happened in this episode. That is Kamal Nath’s son Bakul Nath residing in Dubai gave a Good conduct certificate and entertained Christian Mitchel James in Dubai. The former Congi President Sonia Maino Gandhi has to do lot of explaining. She has to defend the indefensible. Meanwhile, Our Ambassador to Italy be instructed to get CERTIFIED COPY ITALIAN HIGH COURT JUDGMENT IN ITALY & ITS ENGLISH TRANSLATION DULY CERTIFIED BY ITALIAN HIGH COURT, WHICH DELIVERED THE JUDGMENT, for submitting before Indian Courts.

    One good thing has happened in this Mitchel extradition. The other criminals / tax evaders like Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya are slowly willing to surrender and pay up the Bank dues / fraud monies stashed by them abroad.

    The spillage effect of Mitchel extradition episode going to cost Kamal Nath his aspiration of becoming Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, if at all if Cong manages to wins with majority of MLAs.
    Right now, it is advantage Jyotir Aditya Scindia, unless or otherwise he is getting caught any Congi scams.

  7. Corruption & Nepotism had become a way of life & accepted norms to misuse Tax Payers hard earned money, while making Govt purchases & Defence deals, which is a dangerous game, threatening safety & security of the Nation.
    PM Modi wants to abolish such practices & has been successful in getting middle man Michel, extradited from Dubai, who along with Congress leaders got kick backs to the tune of Millions of Dollars, in the deal of Augusta Westland helicopter, whose specifications & flying Capabilities were lowered, in collusion with Indian National Congress’ Corrupt Politicians & Officials.
    Michel presently in CBI Custody will be able to name all those corrupt Leaders & Officials, who were bribed to change the Specifications of the helicopter.
    Nation must know the culprits !
    PM Modi is a Crusader against Corruption.
    – J N Kaushik Adv. New Delhi India –

  8. I wonder what stops the Indian courts and CJI to get the official copy of Italian court judgement and reopen the case in India. But are the Indian courts great defendant of justice, they often close there eyes to wrong doings and allow the culprits escape. Cases of 1984 riots, Bofors, and other scams are proof of that.

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