New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have told the Delhi High Court that Christian Michel, an alleged middleman arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam cases, should not be granted bail as he has a nexus with influential people and can influence witnesses.
The investigating agencies, in their written submissions opposing the bail pleas of Michel, have contended that he was extradited to India with unprecedented difficulty and there is all likelihood of him fleeing from justice, if freed on bail as he had no roots here.
Justice Anu Malhotra listed the matter for further hearing February 26.
Michel, who was arrested in 2018 and is in judicial custody since January 5, 2019, has been denied bail in both the matters by the trial court. He has approached the high court against the lower court’s decision.
The agencies, in their submissions, said Michel has deep nexus with influential and powerful persons and has made inroads in the bureaucracy or executive.
“There are Letters Rogatory pending in the United Kingdom which have not been executed in light of the deliberate delay. The same shall further be stalled if the applicant is released on bail. It is a matter of record that the applicant has influence in the British High Commission,” the investigating agencies said.
They added that Michel had successfully evaded the entire investigation and trial in Italy, which despite being a member of the European Union, could not successfully bring him to face the judicial process.
“There are ample circumstances which go on to show that if enlarged on bail, the applicant would influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence, thereby hampering the investigation herein, which is at the last stages and which does not solely rest on documentary evidence,” the agencies said.