In a major development in the AgustaWestland case, Enforcement Directorate has told the Patiala House Court that Christian Michel, who was extradited earlier in December, has named 'Mrs Gandhi'. Speaking to Republic TV, BJP senior leader Dr Subramanian Swamy said that 'these facts will come out as these are there in black and white in the Italian Court'.
"If you may recall, in 2016 when I spoke on behalf of the BJP on Agusta resolution or rather discussion at the time, I had mentioned this. He had very clearly mentioned that Sonia Gandhi doesn't want to fly in these helicopters and she is looking to buy and she can be approached and her son is also influential so he can be approached. All this is there in the Italian Courts also but the Italian Court was concerned more about the Agusta officials prosecution than they were bothered about the Indian getting bribe. So, now we are taking up on all those and he is being cracked up on what's called custodial interrogation. These facts will come out as these are there in black and white in the Italian Court".
"It is very important to register a case against Mrs Gandhi and then interrogate her which is overdue. Whenever Sonia Gandhi went to London, she stayed at the residence of Christian Michel's father and that is very well known. He himself said that there are a lot of pictures of Sonia Gandhi in his drawing room and mansion and he was a fixer. So, I don't think there is any doubt. All we need is a what is known as the smoking gun and Christian Michel naming them is a smoking gun", he added.
Earlier in the day, Christian Michel named 'Mrs Gandhi' also spoke about “the son of the Italian lady” and how he is going to become the “next prime minister of the country”. Furthermore, during the hearing, ED also told the Patiala House Court that Christian Michel has identified how HAL(Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) was removed from the deal and the deal was offered to Tata instead. ED also seeks to ban Michel's lawyer's access to him alleging that the investigation in the case is being tampered. ED alleges that Michel is being tutored from the 'outside' through his lawyers.
ED has sought 8 days further custody of Michel. It further seeks to confront Michel about his various visits to India and the people involved in the case.
"We need to decipher who the “big man” referred to as “R” is in the communication between Michel and other people.," said ED officials to the Patiala House Court.
Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. Both CBI and ED had notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against him after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
The CBI has alleged there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million. The ED, in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.