VVIP chopper deal: Court issues fresh summons against accused

A special court today issued fresh summons against three accused in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal in which it had earlier issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel James. Special Judge Arvind Kumar re-issued the summons against India-based firm M/s Media Exim Private Limited and its directors R K Nanda and J B Subramaniyam while asking them to be present in court on February 22. The firm was set up by James, Nanda and Subramaniyam.

 

 
The court passed the order after advocate N K Matta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, informed it that the summons issued against the three accused on the last date of hearing could not be executed. It had on November 31 last year issued an open-ended NBW against James and summons against other three accused in the case, saying, “There is prima facie evidence against the accused.”

 

 

The NBW was issued against James after ED had told the court that the alleged middleman was out of India and pressed for an arrest warrant against him to bring him here to face the trial. An open-ended NBW (arrest warrant) does not carry a time limit for its execution. In June last year, ED had filed a 1,300-page prosecution complaint (equivalent for charge sheet) in connection with its money laundering probe in the case.

 

 

It had said the agency’s investigation into the case had found that James allegedly received Euro 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from M/s AgustaWestland which was nothing but “kickbacks” paid by the firm to execute the deal for sale of 12 helicopters to India in favour of the firm in “guise” of genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country.

 

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