Michel denies bribing government officials

Christian Michel ‘aggressively’ denied paying bribes to any UPA leader or defence ministry official as suggested in his purported handwritten notes. But he admitted to taking money from AgustaWestland, which he said was a ‘consultancy’ fee. Officials familiar with his interrogation said Michel had not disclosed names of any “beneficiaries” of bribe. Michel claimed that he was “dyslexic”.

Michel told CBI officers he couldn’t write and the ‘bribery’ notes listing alleged payments to politicians and bureaucrats were penned by Guido Haschke, another European middleman. Relevantly the notes had described Sonia Gandhi as the “driving force behind the VIP (choppers)”.

Michel further said in the notes that besides Sonia, Peter Hulet (then-India region sales head of AgustaWestland) should ‘target’ then-PM Manmohan Singh, then-defence minister Pranab Mukherjee and Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.

Christian Michel, extradited ‘unconditionally’ by UAE on Tuesday.

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