NEW DELHI: India on Friday slammed a UN panel which had claimed that AgustaWestland scam accused Christian Michel was being held arbitrarily by Indian authorities, and said conclusions drawn by the panel were based on limited information, biased allegations from an unidentified source and on an inaccurate understanding of India’s criminal justice system.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) had sought immediate release of the British middleman who was extradited from the UAE in 2018. At the outset, the MEA said, the working group was not a judicial body, and therefore, its opinions were not legally binding on member states.
“The extradition was done accordance with the provisions of the extradition treaty signed between two sovereign states. The arrest and subsequent custody were done as per the due process of law and cannot be considered arbitrary on any grounds,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
The government said the accused was not denied his rights to legal counsel. According to an AFP report, the WGAD said that Michel’s extradition “was a de facto swap” for India’s capture and return of a high-profile detainee to Dubai, without providing more details.