Barely moments after the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday informed Delhi's Patiala House Court about 'middleman' Christian Michel's statement on "Mrs Gandhi" and "the son of the Italian lady" in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam case, the Congress countered the charges, saying that there is pressure on Michel to name a particular family.
Addressing a press conference, Congress leader RPN Singh said, "why is the chowkidaar trying to pressurise the government agencies to name a family? BJP script writers are working overtime".
RPN Singh Congress on ED says Christian Michel has taken the name of "Mrs Gandhi": There is pressure on Michel to name a particular family, why is the chowkidaar trying to pressurize the govt agencies to name a family? BJP script writers are working over time. #Agustawestland pic.twitter.com/qCxYeObJYN— ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2018
"As per law, the first thing a person gets is a lawyer... But they don't allow him to meet the lawyer, so you know what kind of a case is going on. We have seen what the BJP is doing here. The person who has done the biggest chori cannot be spared," Singh added.
Reacting strong to the latest development in Patiala House court on Saturday, Congress leader and former union cabinet minister Anand Sharma said, "I have never heard anything more absurd than what I have heard today and that too coming from ED as claimed before a court. The Modi government is guilty of a malicious and vicious propaganda".
"There’s brazen and shameless abuse of agencies of the state; CBI has been wrecked, ED has no credibility left. These are actions of a government in its dying days. Agencies should act according to law. There's no prosecution taking place. There's no evidence being produced," Sharma added.
Anand Sharma, Congress on ED says Christian Michel spoke about 'son of Italian lady': I have never heard anything more absurd than what I have heard today & that too coming from ED as claimed before a court. The Modi government is guilty of a malicious & vicious propaganda. pic.twitter.com/0CX9m1ZKFG— ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2018
However, the ED is yet to ascertain that in what reference Michel took the name of "Mrs Gandhi" and "the son of the Italian lady". The probe agency will further confront Michel to decipher who the "big man" referred to as "R" and how he was going to become the “next prime minister of the country”.
Following this major breakthrough in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper scam case, the court has sent Michel to seven-day ED remand. The hearing in AgustaWestland case is currently underway.
Michel was brought to India following his extradition by the UAE early in early December and kept at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi under heavy security overnight. The subsequent day he was produced in Delhi's Patiala House Court where lawyer Aljo K Joseph who is representing Michel moved a bail plea.
The AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper case pertains to the Indian government’s deal to purchase 12 AW101 helicopters from AgustaWestland. The deal was signed by the then Congress-led UPA government in February 2010. The choppers were supposed to ferry VVIPs, including the President of India and the Prime Minister.
However, controversies surrounded the deal after reports that Finmeccanica paid a huge amount of money to several officials and politicians to win the VVIP choppers deal with the Indian Air Force.
It was alleged that the some of the technical specifications were changed to help AgustaWestland bag the deal. According to a CBI claim, the deal had cost the taxpayers a loss of approximately Rs 3,666 crore.