AgustaWestland: Tihar jail officials rubbish Michel's charges

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 14, 2019 18:56 hrs

Tihar jail authorities on Thursday produced CCTV footage in the Special CBI court to rubbish allegations of torture and humiliation levied by AgustaWestland deal accused middlemen Christian Michel.

In its reply to the Patiala House Court, the Tihar Jail authorities denying all the charges said that Michel has been granted all the facilities in accordance with the jail manual.

Showing a hard disk to the court containing the CCTV footage for March 8-12, the law officer said,” The footage shows that he has been allowed to walk, access canteen and also meet other inmates.”

Law officer of the jail also handed over a list of facilities being provided to Michel in a single cell in the jail. “This is not isolation as he goes out to eat and is allowed to meet other inmates,” the authorities said.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) DP Singh told the court, ”He is a foreigner brought through extradition. This is a responsibility of the country to ensure his security as per the treaty.”

Michel’s counsel Aljo K Joseph sought transfer of his client from Jail no. 1 (ward 6) which is the high security cell to a single cell in the normal jail. “On the name of security his liberty should not be curtailed,” said Joseph.

SPP Singh strongly objected Joseph’s demands. Following the arguments and the filing of the evidence, Speical CBI Judge Arvind Kumar posted the matter for hearing on March 16 (Friday).

On Tuesday, Christian Michel told a Delhi Court that he would join the investigation if he was shifted to another cell in Tihar Jail.

"If your honour wishes me to join the investigation, I will joint it but in return, I may be moved to a different cell," Michel told Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar during Tuesday’s hearing.

Michel also told the court that then CBI senior official Rakesh Asthana had warned him that his life would be made hell if he comes back to India. "It has become true," he had said.

Michel had on Monday contended that he has been kept in an isolation ward, along with a Kashmiri terrorist and 160 other inmates. In his letter, Michel also stated that such an act by the jail authorities without the due process of law is “illegal, arbitrary and highly condemnable".

Michel had earlier filed a plea in a Delhi court raising questions about putting him in a solitary cell, alleging that he was lodged in a cell with dreaded criminals like Chhota Rajan.

Michel, who was extradited from the UAE in December last year, is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with the CBI and ED cases against him related to the AgustaWestland deal. (ANI)