Michel has 30 days from the day the decision was issued to file an appeal, a source said

NEW DELHI: Christian Michel, wanted by Indian investigative agencies in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, has time till October 2 to challenge the order issued by a Dubai court, which has favoured his extradition to India.

In a decision dated September 2, the Dubai Court of Appeals had ruled that he can be extradited, but the decision has to be approved by the UAE’s justice minister before its implementation process can begin, sources familiar with the matter said. The Indian government did not hear from the UAE till Wednesday regarding his extradition.

Michel has 30 days from the day the decision was issued to file an appeal, a source said. He is out on bail and his passport remains seized with the authorities in the UAE. The ruling on Michel follows deliberations by a Dubai court bench presided over by judge Eissa Mohamed Sherif, with member judges Rashid Mohamed Al Sumairi and Ashraf Mohamed Al Shawadfi. The September 2 decision, however, was pronounced by a different set of judges.

Michel’s extradition request had previously been closed in the UAE as the necessary papers were not available from India then. Once his file was complete, the case was reopened, after which he was summoned again.

The British high commission in the UAE told the local media that it was “assisting a British man in Dubai”, and is “in contact with authorities”.

AgustaWestland, branded as Leonardo Helicopters since January 2016, was a helicopter design and manufacturing company. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo SpA (previously Finmeccanica). In early 2013, Michel, a British consultant active in the Indian defence sector, was hired by AgustaWestland to facilitate a deal to supply 12 AW101 copters to India. The choppers were to be used by the communication squadron of the IAF for carrying the President, the prime minister and other VVIPs.

Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, along with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. The ED, in its charge sheet, has claimed the money was laundered through multiple foreign firms — used as fronts to park alleged kickbacks.