The Enforcement Directorate plans to question a senior defence journalist on whose foreign travels British middleman Christian Michel had spent over Rs.28 lakh. The agency is trying to ascertain the nature of his relationship with the prime accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
The journalist, former head of a Hindi news channel and an editor with an English daily, came under the scanner when the Directorate found that he and his wife were among the dozen and more persons for whose overseas trips Mr. Michel had made payments.
“We need to ascertain the purpose for which the accused funded the foreign travels and stay of the journalist and his wife. As part of the probe, some others, whose travel tickets were purchased by Mr. Michel, have already been examined,” said an official. The journalist was also summoned last year.
The Directorate accessed the travel details from computer records of a Delhi-based tour and travel agency, run by an associate of the middleman, who was also a director in his shell company Media Exim. Between 2007 and 2013, tickets worth over Rs.4 crore were allegedly bought on behalf of Mr. Michel and his local contacts. There were at least two retired Air Force officers in the list.