Agusta accused Michel’s family takes his case to UN, alleges torture and arbitrary detention in India

Naomi Canton
April 24, 2019, The Times of India

The barristers’ chambers representing AgustaWestland helicopter scam accused Christian Michel’s family has filed a petition of complaint with the United Nations requesting an investigation into the detention and “ongoing ill-treatment” of the 57-year-old, claiming the charges against him are politically motivated, the detention is “arbitrary”, that he is being tortured and should be exonerated and released.

Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers in London filed an urgent communication on Wednesday with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture against both the UAE and the Republic of India in respect of Michel.

The UN working group will have to write to the UAE and India to get their responses before rendering its opinion. But it could recommend Michel’s release and award compensation to him, though it is not legally binding.

The Guernica 37 appeal states “the level of political interference with the case was such that it is devoid of an independent judicial process and can only be characterised as an unlawful transfer from one state to another”.

The petition alleges that Michel was “handcuffed, blindfolded and transported by private jet” when “unlawfully” extradited from the UAE to India in December 2018 and “taken in a hurried manner without the ability to challenge any decision”.

“The detention and any subsequent trial has not, and will not adhere to relevant fair trial standards,” the petition states.

It claims that in India “Michel has been held in squalid conditions”, sharing a cell in Tihar Jail with 45 others, conditions “that breach basic human rights conditions”, and that he has been “subjected to repeated and