NEW DELHI: A Dubai court’s ruling favouring extradition of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal scandal, is as a shot in the arm for the Indian government, which has been pursuing the extradition rather doggedly. The Indian probe agencies are yet to receive a formal copy of the order from the Dubai authorities.

The Dubai court has flatly rejected all contentions raised by Michel opposing the extradition plea.

Michel had averred that he may be “exposed to inhuman treatment” and be “forced to accept the role of political personalities” in India.

Rubbishing the contentions, the Dubai court said “the argument is rejected as the request for extradition is not political, religious or racial in nature”. The order, accessed by ET, adds “its (request) main objective is to try the accused in a criminal case”.

Michel insisted the case was of “political nature”. To buttress his claim, he mentioned a security guard, Waleed, who had allegedly witnessed the meeting between Michel and the Indian authorities.

Michel had pleaded that Waleed’s testimony be recorded. However, Michel failed to provide “complete name, designation and name of the agency that employed him”. Hence, Michel’s plea that Waleed be summoned was rejected by the court.

Michel’s other claim of “absence of prescribed guarantee” also found no favour with the court.

The Dubai government had approached the court seeking to know the “possibility” of the extradition of Michel, a British citizen. The court has replied in the affirmative.

Michel had opposed the extradition request on the grounds that he stood exonerated by British courts and Swiss tribunals. Michel cited “clause 10 of non-extradition” citing possibility of exposing him to inhuman treatment.

The court rejected Michel’s claim of having received a clean chit from the British courts and Swiss tribunals. Because, the Dubai court ruled, “the verdict of the Italian courts in the case number 357/13 criminal FIR 2246/12 registered against him and other two Giuseppe Orsi and Spaglini Bruno, found him guilty”.

The Dubai prosecution sought Michel’s extradition citing article 2 of the federal law no 39 of 2006 regarding International Legal Cooperation in criminal cases. The public prosecution contended that as per Article 2 of the said law two kinds of persons can be extradited. Firstly, persons accused of commissioning of crime punishable under the law of two agreeing states for at least one year or more. Secondly, persons who have been punished by courts of the requesting state with the imprisonment of at least six months for commissioning a crime mentioned in the “Treaty of Extradition of Criminals”. The court ruled “the crimes for which the request of extradition” is being sought are “fraud and criminal conspiracy which are punishable crimes under law of both the agreeing states”.

The court recorded that while in India Michel’s alleged offences are covered under Sections 120, 415B and 420 of IPC, the corresponding sections under the Dubai law are Sections 423 of Business Penal Code no.2 of 1987 and Business penal code no.2 of 1987 whose amended provision provides for imprisonment of not more than five years.

The order further reads “it has been proved through the documents of law suit that the request for extradition of the accused (Michel) meets all the conditions required as per the articles of the agreement mentioned in form and content”.

Seeking extradition, the prosecution furnished documents received from the Indian government. These included a list of evidence authenticated by Indian probe agencies and the provision of law crimes under which Michel is criminally liable.

As per available information, Michel is out of reach from the Dubai prosecution after the verdict was passed by the court on September 2. Michel has a right to appeal before a higher court of appeal followed by the Supreme Court. The mandate to pass an extradition order lies with the Dubai government.