New Delhi: Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in AgustaWestland chopper scam case, claimed in a Delhi court Tuesday that former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana met him in Dubai and threatened to make his life hell inside jail if he did not toe the line of the agency in its investigation in the scandal.
“Sometime back Rakesh Asthana met me in Dubai and threatened that my life would be made hell and that’s what is going on. My next door inmate is (gangster) Chotta Rajan… I don’t understand what crime I have committed to be put along with those who have killed several people,” he said.
Michel, who was present in the courtroom, also told the court that he was put in the prison with 16-17 Kashmiri separatist leaders. The statements were made by Michel before Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Enforcement Directorate to interrogate him inside Tihar Jail in Delhi.
The court said the agency will quiz him tomorrow and the day after. A jail official will remain present and Michel’s lawyer is also allowed a limited access during interrogation, for half an hour in the morning and in evening, it said. The court took note of Michel’s submission alleging mental torture inside the jail and directed Tihar jail authorities to produce the CCTV footage and reports by Thursday based on which he was shifted to a high-security ward.
On Monday, the court asked the jail authorities to submit their reply on the agency’s plea and issued a production warrant for Tuesday for Michel after his lawyer alleged mental torture inside the jail. Michel was arrested by ED on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai.
The court previously lashed out at the jail authorities for failing to justify the shifting of Michel to a high-security cell in isolation, saying it will start an inquiry if it does not get a proper response. Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by ED and Central Bureau of Investigation. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.