Dubai court agrees to extradite British national to India in corruption scandal

Christian James Michel is wanted in India as part of investigations into a multi-million dollar helicopter purchase deal



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A Dubai court has ordered the extradition of a British national to India where he faces charges of commercial fraud, bribery and money laundering, local media reported.

Christian James Michel is wanted in India as part of investigations into a multi-million dollar helicopter purchase deal.

The 54-year-old British businessman has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but the Dubai appeals court approved a request by Indian authorities to extradite him, The National reported.

India first lodged an extradition request with the UAE in 2016 and in February last year, a report was filed against Michel at the Dubai Ports police station.

On July 8 this year, his case was referred to the Dubai Appeals Court.

On September 2, chief justice of the court Issa Sharif approved the request for extradition from a Dubai prosecutor, on behalf of the Indian government, the report added.

The controversy emerged when investigations revealed that AgustaWestland, an Italian helicopter firm reportedly paid bribes to the Indian government to win a contract to supply 12 helicopters worth nearly $500m to be used for VVIP transportation.

Michel is one of three middlemen accused by Indian authorities of brokering the deal and is accused of receiving approximately $35m as kickbacks.

In 2012, Italian authorities arrested Giuseppe Orsi, the CEO of AgustaWestland parent company Finmeccanica, after accusing him of bribing Indian officials.

In India, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged nine people of corruption in the case.

The deal was officially scrapped in 2014.

Meanwhile Indian media reports claim that the CBI is still awaiting clarification from the UAE about the extradition.

The external affairs ministry had asked its embassy in the UAE to reveal the details about the court ruling, The Times of India reported.