“Politically Motivated”: UN Panel Asks India To Release Christian Michel Claiming “De Facto Swap” With Dubai Princess

However, India rejected the opinion expressed by the Working Group, saying it was based on “limited information” and “biased allegations”.

According to the report by Daily Mail, a United Nations panel has ruled that the daughter of the ruler of Dubai was seized by Indian commandos as part of a deal to extradite a British arms dealer Christian Michel.

Captured on a yacht off the coast of Goa as she attempted to escape her father in March 2018, Princess Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum was then drugged and returned to Dubai.

59-year-old Christian Michel was then extradited from Dubai to Delhi weeks later, where he is accused of paying bribes to help AgustaWestland, the helicopter manufacturer that has a base in Yeovil, Somerset, win a contract worth more than $500 million.

Christian Michel was extradited in a “de facto swap”, the United Nations working group on arbitrary detention has found.

Having endured a difficult relationship with her father over the years, Latifa has tried to escape his kingdom twice. After being returned to Dubai in 2018, she says she is now being held captive by her father and has been threatened with being shot unless she cooperates.

The UN officially linked the extradition to Latifa’s capture and called for Michel, who is accused of accepting a £40million bribe to sell British-made helicopters to India, to be released.

The report by the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention also says the charges against Michel are politically motivated, but does not mention Latifa by name.

However, in its investigation into Michel’s detention, it says: “Mr Michel was told that his extradition was in exchange for the earlier seizure and return of a high-profile detainee to Dubai, despite the detainee’s plea for asylum by Indian forces which intercepted the detainee’s yacht in international waters off the coast of Goa in March 2018.”

In 2018 in a series of secretly recorded videos obtained by MailOnline and BBC Panorama, the Dubai princess had spoken about her terrifying capture.

She had told how she was pinned to the ground and removed from the yacht that had been attempting to take her to a new life away from Dubai.

However, India rejected the opinion expressed by the Working Group, saying it was based on “limited information” and “biased allegations”.

“We regret that the conclusions drawn by the Working Group are based on limited information, biased allegations from an unidentified source and on an inaccurate understanding of India’s criminal justice system. … The allegations which form the basis of the opinion …are contrary to facts. The Government of India therefore, rejects the opinion,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

The government had provided timely information to the Working Group on the matter in June last year, the MEA said.

“The extradition was done entirely in 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,” he added.

“At no time was the accused denied his rights to legal counsel or a fair hearing. The fact that he has been able to approach Courts on multiple occasions including the higher judiciary is itself proof of this. There have also been no restrictions on consular access by the authorities. He has been treated at par as other detainees and provided all facilities by the prison authorities as per rules,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Both CBI and ED are probing cases against Michel. He is alleged to have played a key role as middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland deal for purchase of choppers.

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