VVIP chopper rip-off case: Christian Michel’s household pleads for UK authorities intervention


The household of Christian Michel, based mostly within the UK and France, on Thursday expressed concern for his well-being amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in India and urged the British authorities to intervene on behalf of the VVIP chopper rip-off accused being held in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

Alaric and Alois Michel, the sons of the British intermediary who was extradited to India from the UAE over a controversial helicopter deal, mentioned they have been more and more involved for his or her father’s well-being amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic within the nation’s prisons and his medical situation involving kidney stones.

“It has been extraordinarily onerous on us, particularly our 17-year-old sister. We’re involved for our father’s well-being given the COVID-19 pandemic and his medical situation,” 26-year-old Alaric mentioned throughout a web based press convention organised by Guernica 37 Worldwide Justice Chambers in London.

“India is someplace our father thought of house for a few years,” added 24-year-old Alois.

The Indian authorities maintains that each one procedures have been adopted within the extradition case.

Michel’s authorized group, nonetheless, alleges that he was handed over to the Indian authorities as a “quid professional quo” for the return of Princess Latifa – the daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

On February 26, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expressed considerations and delivered an opinion that the method by which Christian Michel was extradited to India didn’t comply with due course of, thereby amounting to an illegal rendition, which his legal professionals say “represents a flagrant try to disregard worldwide protocols that relate to extradition”.

“Thus, the UN WGAD dominated that he’s being arbitrarily detained opposite to the Common Declaration of Human Rights and the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ordering his fast launch,” they famous.

India had rejected the opinion of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, saying the conclusions drawn by the UN panel are based mostly on restricted info, biased allegations and an inaccurate understanding of its prison justice system.

India additionally made it clear that the Working Group isn’t a judicial physique, and due to this fact, its opinions usually are not legally binding on the member states.

On February 26, the Ministry of External Affairs mentioned the Indian authorities supplied well timed info on this challenge to the Working Group in June 2020, at their request.

“We remorse that the conclusions drawn by the Working Group are based mostly on restricted info, biased allegations from an unidentified supply and on an inaccurate understanding of India’s prison justice system,” a MEA spokesman mentioned.

The extradition was finished fully in accordance with the provisions of the extradition treaty signed between two sovereign states, the spokesman mentioned, including that the arrest and subsequent custody have been finished as per the due strategy of legislation and can’t be thought of arbitrary on any grounds.

“At no time was the accused denied his rights to authorized counsel or a good listening to. The truth that he has been in a position to method Courts on a number of events together with the upper judiciary is itself proof of this. There have additionally been no restrictions on consular entry by the authorities. He has been handled at par as different detainees and supplied all amenities by the jail authorities as per guidelines,” the MEA Spokesperson mentioned.

India, as a accountable member of the Human Rights Council, will proceed to cooperate with the Working Group and supply it with the mandatory info to the extent doable beneath Indian legal guidelines, to advertise and shield human rights of all, the spokesperson mentioned.

Throughout a direct attraction to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, Michel’s sons and legal professionals known as upon the UK authorities to comply with up with India on honouring the UN Working Group route.

“It’s for India to resolve whether or not it needs to face on the aspect of democratic international locations that honour their UN dedication or not,” mentioned Toby Cadman of Guernica 37.

In January, Michel wrote a 35-page letter to Johnson, Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab and Residence Secretary Priti Patel, calling on the UK Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO) to intervene in his case, explaining how his extradition was motivated by “political causes”. His authorized group has known as on the FCDO to take fast steps to intervene and urged each the federal government of India and the UAE to implement the UN suggestions.

“His life is certainly in peril and the grave violations of his human rights are certainly an affront to the very essence of human dignity,” his legal professionals say.

In the meantime, Michel has been refused bail a number of occasions and his case is at present going by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court docket.

France-based human rights lawyer Francois Zimeray mentioned that as Michel was a European Union (EU) citizen on the time of his arrest, his group would have a look at elevating the case with the European Fee which might show a “stone in bilateral relations” between India and the EU.

Michel was working within the UAE as a guide for a subsidiary of the Anglo-Italian agency AgustaWestland, itself a subsidiary of aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica. He was accused of arranging kickbacks to Indian officers to safe a deal for the corporate to produce New Delhi with 12 helicopters in 2010.

He has been in jail ever since he was introduced on a particular airplane from Dubai after UAE authorities handed him over to the Indian authorities in December 2018.

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