AgustaWestland case: Christian Michel’s lawyer Aljo Joseph sacked from Youth Congress for representing ‘middleman’ in court

Image Source : ANI

Lawyer of Christian Michel Aljo Okay Joseph

The Indian Youth Congress on Wednesday expelled Aljo Okay Joseph, the lawyer who represented Christian Michel in court, from the celebration with imeediate impact.

In an announcement, the Youth Congress mentioned that Joseph had appeared in the court on behalf of Christian Michel in his private capability with out consulting the organisation. 

“Aljo K Joseph appeared in his personal capacity. He did not consult the Youth Congress before appearing in the case. IYC does NOT endorse such actions. IYC has removed Aljo Joseph from IYC’s Legal Department and expelled him from the party with immediate effect,” the assertion mentioned.

Earlier in the day, Aljo Okay Joseph, lawyer of Christian Michel, the alleged intermediary in Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case,  was noticed assembly Congress General Secretary Deepak Babaria at Congress Headquarters right here in the nationwide capital.

However, he mentioned his assembly with Babaria has nothing to do with the Michel case.

“I’m an actively practicing advocate. I appeared for him (Christian Michel) in my professional capacity. If somebody asks me to appear on behalf of a client…I’ve only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with Congress,” he mentioned.

“My relationship with Congress is separate, my profession is separate. One of my friends, who was having some Dubai connections, through him the lawyer in Italy had requested it. So, I was just helping in appearing and assisting him in this matter,” Joseph added.

When requested what place he holds in the Congress celebration, Joseph mentioned, “I am the national in charge for Indian Youth Congress legal department.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court on Wednesday despatched Christian Michel to five-day CBI custody.

“The investigation is going on, we need his (Christian Michel) custody as money was transferred in two Dubai based accounts,” mentioned the company.

“We need his police custody to confront him with some important documents,” CBI Counsel Advocate DP Singh mentioned earlier than the CBI Special Court.

After the court’s determination, authorities sources mentioned that the Centre is able to “provide consular access to UK High Commission for Christian Michel.”

“We are ready to provide consular access to UK High Commission for Christian Michel. We have no objections. Yet until now UK High Commission has not approached the MEA for the same. Due process will have to be followed and CBI will have no objections,” information company ANI quoted authorities as saying.

“Our employees proceed to assist household of a British man following his detention in UAE. We’re in contact together with his household and Emirati authorities relating to his case and are urgently looking for information from Indian authorities on his circumstances,” mentioned British High Commission. 

Michel, 54, landed on the Indira Gandhi International Airport on a Gulfstream jet at 10.35 pm on Tuesday night time after which he was arrested by the CBI in reference to the case.

Meanwhile, Michel has moved a bail plea. The court saved this bail plea pending for subsequent listening to. The court additionally allowed his counsel one hour in the morning and one hour in the night for consultancy.

The extradition comes as a significant increase to the Indian businesses investigating the bribery angle in the contract.

In January, the ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities for extraditing Michel. Both ED and CBI had filed chargesheets in bribery circumstances in Indian courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued in opposition to the accused. 

Last yr, a Red Corner Notice (RCN) was issued in opposition to Michel by the Interpol on a request by the CBI. RCNs have been additionally issued in opposition to two Italians — Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke — for their position in the case.

According to the Indian investigative businesses, Michel had acquired no less than Rs 235 crore for making certain that the chopper contract went to AgustaWestland. He was a frequent customer to India, having undertaken 300 journeys to this nation between 1997 and 2013. 

Earlier, the ED officers had mentioned that bribes to Michel have been paid by means of an online of firms positioned overseas and in India on the pretext of cost for consultancy work. Michel additionally used his Dubai-based agency Global Services FZE as a conduit for receiving cash. 

A CBI chargesheet in the case additionally named 4 Indians — former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then Vice Chief of the Air Staff J.S. Gujral and advocate Gautam Khaitan. 

The chargesheet talked about Khaitan because the “mind” behind the deal.

Others named in the chargesheet included Giuseppe Orsi, the previous chief of Italian defence and aerospace main Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, aside from middlemen Michel, Haschke and Gerosa. 

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying the VVIP choppers to the IAF over an alleged breach of contractual obligations and on costs of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore.

The CBI, which registered an FIR in the case on March 12, 2013, had alleged that Tyagi and different accused acquired kickbacks from AgustaWestland to assist it win the contract. 

(With inputs from businesses)


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