New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has named senior Congress leaders in the chargesheet against Christian Michel, who is the key accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam.Also Read - Sonia Gandhi Discharged From Hospital, to Now Face ED in Money Laundering Case
Some reports say that as per the supplementary chargesheet, Michel said that ‘AP’ stood for Ahmed Patel and ‘Fam’ stood for Family. Abbreviations were used to record kickbacks of 30 million euros to ‘Air Force officials’, ‘bureaucrats’ and even ‘top leaders of the (then) ruling party’. However, sources said the leaders were not named as accused. The Patiala House Court will be hearing the matter next on April 6. Also Read - Case Filed Against Congress Leader Renuka Chowdhury For Grabbing Cop's Collar During Protest In Hyderabad
According to the chargesheet, these payments were withdrawn through ‘hawala’. Former IAF chief S P Tyagi is also an accused in the case. Michel was extradited from Dubai only last year. Also Read - 'Mai Toh Khokhe Pe Chai..': Man Alleges He Was Wrongfully Detained During Congress' Protest Against ED
The 52-page supplementary chargesheet has mentioned three more names Michel’s business partner David Syms and two companies Global Services FZE, UAE, and Global Trade & Commerce Ltd, adding to the 38 already named as accused in the case.
The supplementary chargesheet is reported to complete the cycle of how 70 million euros were paid by AgustaWestland as bribe in the VVIP Chopper deal.
The chargesheet said the money was paid through the two middlemen — Michel and Guido Haschke.
A leading daily pointed out that of the 70 million euros, 42 million euros went into the bank accounts of Michel’s Global Services FZE, UAE, and Global Trade & Commerce Ltd. The remaining 28 million euros was transferred to the bank account of Haschke’s IDS Tunisia.
The supplementary chargesheet comes amid Lok Sabha elections. The AgustaWestland case has anyway figured in PM Modi’s campaign speeches. The Congress has claimed that the Centre and its agencies had forced Michel to sign a false confession naming UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Michael was arrested in Dubai for AgustaWestland case. Now, his advocate Rosemary Patrizi states that Modi government and its agencies were forcing him to sign false confession naming Sonia Gandhi ji.”
“The ED and the CBI have turned into dirty trick departments of BJP,” Sujewala had said while attacking the Centre.