Rakesh Asthana had threatened me, says Christian Michel

New Delhi: Alleged Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal middleman Christian Michel told a court here on Tuesday that the then CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana had threatened him in Dubai. Michel said Asthana had met him sometime back in Dubai and threatened to make his life hell inside the jail if he did not toe the CBI line in the case.Michel, who was presented before Special Judge Arvind Kumar, said he has been lodged in a prison with 16-17 Kashmiri separatist leaders and that his next door inmate is gangster Chhota Rajan.”I don’t understand what crime I have committed to be put along with those who have killed several people,” he asked.

The court took note of Michel’s submission alleging mental torture and directed Tihar jail authorities to produce the CCTV footage and reports, on the basis of which he was shifted to a high-security ward. Michel’s advocates also requested the court to shift him from an isolation cell to a normal cell, where white-collar accused are housed. Manant said his parents insisted that they also wanted to go on the trip. “I asked my dad why he wanted to go and he told me that in his life he wants to go one more time.” He said his brother-in-law was working seven days a week in order to pay for the trip.

The Indian Embassy in Ethiopia on Sunday said that four Indian nationals were killed and they were identified as Pannagesh Vaidya, Hansini Vaidya, Nukavarapu Manisha, a doctor based in the US, and Shikha Garg, the United Nations Development Programme consultant attached with the Environment Ministry.  Kenya had the largest number of casualties with 32, followed by Canada with 18, Ethiopia nine, then Italy, China, and the US with eight each. Britain and France each had seven people on board, Egypt six, and Germany five. Twelve countries in Africa and 14 in Europe had citizens among the victims.

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