The United Nations is to demand the discharge of a British businessman held with out conviction in an Indian jail for 2 years over his function in a £500 million helicopter deal.
Christian Michel, 59, alleges he was tortured after refusing to signal a faux confession that he bribed Indian officers as a way to safe the helicopter deal for the Anglo-Italian agency AugustaWestland for which he was performing as a marketing consultant.
He has been held within the infamous Tihar jail in Delhi alongside murderers, rapists and terrorists since being extradited to India in December 2018 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the place he was working.
Toby Cadman, a number one human rights lawyer working professional bono to free him, mentioned there was proof of a “quid professional quo” deal during which Mr Michel was extradited after India handed over a runaway Dubai princess to the UAE following her seize by Indian coastguards after they boarded her yacht.
The Dubai princess – Sheikha Latifa – made headlines in 2018 with a YouTube video accusing her father, Dubai’s ruler, of kidnapping her sister after she escaped her household’s property on a visit to Britain in 2000 after which protecting her in drugged isolation ever since.
A damning UK household courtroom judgement discovered her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum responsible of orchestrating the abductions of his two daughters – the opposite from the streets of Cambridge – in potential breach of worldwide regulation.
Mr Cadman, of Guernica 37 chambers who additionally represented Princess Latifa, mentioned the swap deal from the UAE, the imprisonment and therapy of Mr Michel was “arbitrary,” “inhumane” and flouted worldwide regulation.
He mentioned Mr Michel had been caught up in a “politically-motivated” case during which the ruling BJP social gathering was making an attempt to tar the earlier Congress Occasion administration with corruption over the helicopter deal.
Mr Cadman has filed a petition of grievance to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Particular Rapporteur on Torture that are anticipated to rule in favour of Mr Michel inside weeks.
Mr Michel has additionally written to Boris Johnson from his jail cell, urging him to intervene each in his case and that of a British cellmate, Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, who has been held with out conviction in India for 3 years on “false” terror fees and who additionally alleges torture.
In his letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Michel mentioned all he wished was “unconditional bail.” He mentioned he was ready to face trial however wouldn’t “bear false witness” to assist the BJP social gathering’s allegations of corruption.
“If I used to be going to run I’d have run from Dubai,” he wrote. “My trial will take 20 years…I like India and Indian folks, and after 20 years the trial will collapse as is regular in such circumstances, and many of the witnesses and accused could have died of outdated age.
“Prime Minister I request that you just transfer on my requests, if not I’m caught and could have no selection however to go on starvation strike.”
The bribery allegations have been heard twice by an Italian courtroom and rejected as “conclusively having no proof of corruption.” Mr Michel’s extradition was initially refused by the UAE attributable to a “lack of proof and unsubstantiated allegations.”
However an similar extradition utility was submitted after India had handed over Princess Latifa to the UAE and it was accepted. Mr Michel was extradited to India the place he claims he was questioned for 14 hours a day for 2 weeks with out sleep.
The Indian Authorities has denied that “no due course of was adopted within the extradition” of Mr Michel or that he has been topic to torture.