A helicopter lands behind an AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter at a Leonardo SpA plant in Vergiate, Italy. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

Enforcement Directorate, Christian Michel Seek Enquiry Into AgustaWestland Charge Sheet Leak

The Enforcement Directorate and British-national Christian Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, sought before a Delhi court an enquiry into the purported leakage of the supplementary charge sheet filed in the case to media.

The Enforcement Directorate urged the court to issue a notice to a news organisation asking it to explain how it accessed the documents, whereas Michel supported the demand of a probe while accusing the agency of politicising the matter. Enforcement Directorate’s special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta claimed that the matter was "serious".

"The charge sheet's copy is yet to be supplied to the accused. However, Michel's lawyers came to know what we have written in it and filed an application on that behalf. This is a very serious matter and an enquiry must be ordered to ascertain how the copy of the charge sheet was leaked," the Enforcement Directorate said.

Special judge Arvind Kumar issued a notice to the agency and directed it to file a reply on Michel's plea, which had stated that he had not named anybody in connection with the deal during an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate and that even though the court has not taken cognisance of the documents, in order to make the entire case a sensation again in the media, the agency had leaked the charge sheet.

The court will take up Enforcement Directorate's plea related to leakage of the charge sheet copy on April 11. Meanwhile, the court issued summons to Michel's business partner and middleman David Nigel John Syms as an accused in the case. Syms, named as accused in the charge sheet, is asked to appear before court on May 9.

The court also summoned two firms — Global Services FZE and Global Traders — as accused in the case. Michel and Syms are directors of the two firms.

The court directed to keep the copy the charge sheet in a sealed cover until further orders.

Michel's counsel Aljo K Joseph Friday moved an application before the court, saying, "Michel has not named anyone in his statement before the agency which is being leaked to media. This is only to make the matter sensational and prejudice the case against my client." He claimed the copy of the charge sheet was provided to the media before it was provided to Michel.

Michel was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Dec. 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai.

He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

Also read: Enforcement Directorate Files Charge Sheet In VVIP Chopper Scam