AgustaWestland: Salman Khurshid slams CBI for 'trying to put a question mark on Congress'

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2018 10:10 hrs

[India] Dec 5 (ANI): After Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal extradited by Dubai, landed in New Delhi in the wee hours of Wednesday, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is playing games to 'put a question mark' on his party.

The 57-year-old British national is an alleged middlemen who had brokered the deal and who, investigators claim, paid bribes to officials and politicians to swing the contract in favour of AgustaWestland, the British arm of Italian firm Finmeccanica.

Christian's extradition, took place days after a Dubai court rejected his plea against the move.

"It is just a game to put a question mark on Congress. If the CBI is now getting involved in this case, we will fight against it, adding that one should respond to a question, if he/she is obliged to answer it. But I hope they've their facts and figure in place to persuade a court, " Khurshid told ANI.

Further mocking the Central probe agency, Khurshid added, "I am very impressed that CBI is tearing itself apart, screaming and shouting at each other with all allegations of corruption doing the rounds before Courts. If CBI has faith in law and order and they think that this needs to be taken in the court then they should go ahead."

Michel, who is presently at the CBI headquarters, is likely to be produced before a competent court later today (Wednesday). Furthermore, the CBI is likely to urge the court for extended custody of Michel for the purpose of investigation.

The Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VIP helicopter deal, finalised during the previous government led by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, had got mired in allegations of kickbacks.

Michel is an accused in the case along with some others including former Air Chief SP Tyagi. According to the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet filed in a court here two years back, Michel had received kickbacks to the tune of 30 million Euros from AgustaWestland for the deal involving a purchase of 12 VIP helicopters. The deal, signed in 2007, was scrapped in 2013 following the bribery allegations.(ANI)