UK agent of­fers help in Agus­taWest­land chopper deal probe

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Appu Esthose Suresh appu.suresh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: A Bri­tish arms dealer wanted in In­dia in the nowscrapped Agus­taWest­land chopper deal has of­fered to “as­sist” in the probe pro­vided he is not ar­rested, HT has learnt.

Chris­tian Michel, 55, made the of­fer in a let­ter writ­ten to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in Novem­ber, two months be­fore he wrote to two in­ter­na­tional courts al­leg­ing that the In­dian govern­ment sought ev­i­dence to link Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi to the chopper deal.

In his let­ter to Modi, Michel did not men­tion Gandhi though he re­ferred to the meet­ing be­tween t he I ndian Prime Min­is­ter and his Ital­ian coun­ter­part Mat­teo Renzi wherein the BJP gover nment al­legedly sought ev­i­dence against Gandhi in ex­change for free­ing two Ital­ian marines who al­legedly killed two fish­er­men off the In­dian coast in 2012.

Top govern­ment sources told Hin­dus­tan Times that the govern­ment wants to ex­haust all le­gal op­tions be­fore con­sid­er­ing Michel’s of­fer for help.

Michel said on Thurs­day he stood by his of­fer. “Yes, my of­fer to the In­dian in­ves­tiga­tive agen­cies is still valid,” Michel said in an email re­sponse.

Hin­dus­tan Times has a copy of the let­ter writ­ten by the con­tro­ver­sial arms dealer, who al­legedly helped Agus­taWest­land se­cure the Rs 3,727-crore con­tract to sup­ply 12 VVIP he­li­copters to the In­dian Air Force.

>> CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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