The Borneo Post (Sabah)
India rebuffs UN criticism of UK arms dealer’s detention
NEW DELHI: India yesterday hit back at United Nations (UN) rights experts who accused the country of jailing a British arms dealer extradited from the United Arab Emirates in a suspected swap for a runaway princess.
Christian Michel has been imprisoned in India since December 2018 after he was extradited from Dubai on charges of bribing and conspiring with Delhi officials over a major helicopter deal.
On Friday the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) raised concerns that his extradition represented “a de facto swap” for India’s capture and return of a high-profile detainee to the UAE, without providing more details. Michel’s detention was politically motivated and without a legal basis, WGAD said, demanding his immediate release and compensation from both nations. But India’s foreign ministry yesterday rejected the assessment and accused the expert group of bias, accusing them of having an “inaccurate understanding of the country’s criminal justice system”.
They said that Michel’s removal was permitted under an extradition treaty between the states.
“The arrest and subsequent custody were done as per the due process of law and cannot be considered arbitrary on any grounds,” it said.
The ministry added that Michel has been given all legal rights. New Delhi did not directly comment, however, on allegations his extradition were part of a “de facto exchange” for princess Sheikha Latifa, daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum.