India Issues Warrant Against British Middleman in VVIP Chopper Scam

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:31 PM, September 24, 2015
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India Issues Warrant Against British Middleman in VVIP Chopper Scam
India signed a contract in February 2010 for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters

A Delhi court has issued an open ended non-bailable warrant against Christian Michael James in the INR 3,600 crore (US $540 million) VVIP Chopper deal case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had sought a non-bailable arrest warrant against a London-based accused in the VVIP helicopter ‘scam’ case earlier this month.

The agency had named 13 individuals including former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi and European nationals Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel James and Guido Haschke in the FIR.

Christian Michel James is said to be the key link who managed political parties and players in Italy as well as in India. The agency had sought the warrant under Section 166 A of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) that deals with letter of request competent authority for investigation in a country or place outside India.

Christian is alleged to have been paid £26 million (US$39 million) by Finmeccanica executives to help secure a Rs3,600-crore contract from the Indian government for helicopters. Bribes were paid by the manufacturers to land the deal, reportedly by ensuring that technical criteria were changed to ensure that Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland qualified for the contract.

India had ordered a CBI investigation after an Italian court ordered the arrest of Former CEO and chairman of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi in 2013.

The Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations against Finmeccanica in July this year.

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