#AgustaWestlandScam : “We put pressure on Manmohan Singh through party elite,” Said Middleman Christian Michel in 2009 Letter
The letter also suggests that Michel was able to access information about what was going on at top levels of the government, the PMO and the defence ministry months in advance
Christian Michel, a middleman in the AgustaWestland scam who has been extradited to India recently, used Congress party elites to put pressure on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, reveals an August 28, 2009 letter Michel wrote to Giuseppe Orsi. Orsi is the former chief of Finmeccania (now Leonardo), the parent company of AgustaWestland.
According to a report by India Today TV, the channel has accessed the letter Michel wrote to Orsi. The letter reveals Michel had access to the Prime Minister's Office during UPA regime, details of Manmohan Singh's meeting with respect to the chopper deal and his plan, senior ministers, bureaucrats and the defence ministry.
The news channel report also suggests that Michel was able to access information about what was going on at top levels of the government, the PMO and the defence ministry months in advance.
As quoted by the channel, Michel’s letter indicates that he was aware of details of a meeting between Manmohan Singh and then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "On the 19th of July to the 23rd Hillary Clinton visited India, She had a number of meetings with the prime minister. At one of these meetings she raised a point that was not in the agenda. (Why is India buying the 101. The US has cancelled it because it is extravagant. How can India do it ?)," Michel wrote in the letter.
He continued: "the PM, for an unknown reason desperate to keep good US relations as his legacy and therefore promised to look into the matter [sic]. Then, we cam[e] along and push through a CCS [Cabinet Committee of Security] meeting on the 30th of July and the prime minister is stuck. Six days earlier he promised Hillary that he will look into the 101 matter and now he is supposed to clear it at the cabinet. The PM was in danger of losing his reputation."
Michel said the note put up for the cabinet "was not as strong as it should have been".
"The bureaucrats could not see any problems in the CCS note...This was due to the arrogance of the JS and the then defence secretary. Both men thought that no one would question their word."
"We have spent the whole of August regrouping, realigning and preparing our strategy for resubmission to the CCS," Michel wrote. "Our CCS note is huge. The new defence secretary has got a brain. The J.S has learnt his lesson. The national security advisor saw the PM at 4 yesterday. We have pressurised the PM through his party elite," he wrote.
"The defence minister is 100 percent behind us. On 24th August, the final CCS note was presented to the defence minister. It is an excellent note...It was circulated to the Council of Ministers who have agreed to clear it at the next CCS and the PM has demonstrated to Hillary that he did intervene but role of the government let it go through [sic],"he said in the letter.
Source: India Today