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India


Christian Michel granted consular access, confirms MEA

Christian Michel granted consular access, confirms MEA

New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) Amid hyped political debate on 'disclosures' being made by British 'middleman' Christian Michel, the Government of India has granted consular access to him.

The consular access to Michel was given on Thursday, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters at the media briefing on Friday.

“I can confirm, he has been granted consular access. A second secretary-level officer from the British High Commission has met Christian Michel based on the request we received last month,” Mr Kumar said.

Michel was brought to India from the UAE in December 2018 in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal scam.

The British High Commission had sought consular access to Michel.

Asked about Michel’s plea in the Delhi court on Thursday seeking 'permission' to make calls to his family members and his lawyers abroad, Mr Kumar said, “We have shared in the past that he has been allowed to communicate with his family members. I have not seen the plea which he has entered on this matter".

Lodged in the Tihar jail in the capital, Michel is making news regular in more ways than one.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (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 556.262 million euros.

BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself have taken potshots at the Congress party over Michel episode.

At a public meeting in Solapur in Maharshtra, PM Modi had said: "I saw the newspaper report according to which the middleman who has been brought in the chopper scam case also played a role in the fighter jets deal with France during the regime of the previous government. The media report says that 'Michel mama' was lobbying for some another company. Now it needs to be answered as to what is the relationship between the noise being created by Congress leaders and Michel mama."

"Did the deal stop because of dealings of Michel mama?"

UNI DEVN RSA 1842

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