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AgustaWestland | Christian Michel's letter reveals how he mounted pressure on Manmohan Singh: Report

The Letter Accessed By India Today Reveals That Michel Had Access To The PMO And Details Of Manmohan Singh's Meeting With Respect To The Chopper Deal And His Plan.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 29 Dec 2018, 07:18:46 PM
Christian Michel, alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper case. (PTI/file)

New Delhi:

Alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper case Christian Michel reportedly used top leaders of the Congress to mount pressure on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This was reveled in a letter Michel wrote to Giuseppe Orsi on August 28, 2009. Orsi is a former chief of Finmeccania (now Leonardo) -- the parent company of AgustaWestland. He was arrested in 2014 for allegedly paying bribes in exchange for a Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal to sell 12 AugustaWestland helicopters to India. In January this year, he was acquitted by an Italian court.    

The letter accessed by India Today reveals that Michel had access to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), details of Manmohan Singh's meeting with respect to the chopper deal and his plan, senior ministers, bureaucrats and the defence ministry.

The report came even as the Enforcement Directorate told the Patiala court on Saturday that Michel has named Mrs Gandhi. The probe agency told the court that Michel also spoken about "the son of the Italian lady" and how he is going to become the "next prime minister of the country." The ED also said Michel has identified how the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was removed from the deal and the VVIP chopper deal was offered to Tata instead. The ED also sought to ban Michel's lawyer's access to him alleging he is being tutored from outside.

The ED told the court that, "We need to decipher who the "big man" referred to as "R" is in the communication between Christian Michel and other people. We need to confront Michel with other people to decipher who "the big man" or "R" is." 

The letter also reveals that Michel was constantly getting information about the status of meetings of the government. It shows that Michel was aware of details of a meeting between Manmohan Singh and then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In the letter, Michel assured the then-AgustaWestland head that the agreement would be finalised soon. "We understand full [sic] the pressure A.W is under to conclude. We are now at the finish. I told you and the Air attache in London has confirmed to your company that at the next CCS meeting your project will be cleared. The CCS meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, the 3rd October," Michel wrote, according to India Today.

Also Read | 'Big man - R', 'son of Italian lady': Know what middleman Christian Michel told ED in 5 points

"Within three working days of that meeting you will be given a date to come and finalise. When we last spoke you asked which year we would sign and I fully understood your frustration as I had stated that it would be concluded in July," he said, and asked if he could now explain what went wrong.

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First Published : 29 Dec 2018, 07:15:19 PM