New Delhi: Wolfgang Michel, the father of Christian Michel — the illicit agent in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal struck by the UPA government — was known to Indira Gandhi when she was the country’s prime minister, the CBI has revealed. India’s premier investigating agency has said further that the Michels and the Gandhis were pretty close to one another.

The CBI has submitted in the court hearing the case of Michel these findings that the accused has confessed to before the investigating agency during his interrogation.

Wolfgang Michel used to be a consultant to Westland Helicopters that dealt with India’s Union government in the 1970s. Christian told the CBI that his father and Mrs Gandhi would often meet. "His father knew late Indra Gandhi since 1970s and was very close to Gandhi family," the remand document in the court reads.

In fact, in 1982-83, some parliamentarians had questioned Mrs Gandhi in the Lok Sabha who this “Mr Wolfgang Michel” was. And Indira Gandhi said she "considered him a friend of India"!

"Christian Michel had been the consultant of AgustaWestland and, before that, he was the consultant for Westland Helicopters Ltd long before the merger of the two companies," CBI said. It added that during questioning, Michel revealed that his father had participated in defence deals and had known Gandhis personally.

Michel "was instrumental in avoiding the single vendor situation in collusion with the Ministry of Defene (MOD) and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials," the CBI document submitted before the court reads.

CBI has recently managed to get AgustaWestland scam accused Christian Michel extradited from the UAE, thanks to the diplomatic pressure exerted on the Arab country by the Narendra Modi government. Michel Jr is accused of paying kickbacks to some Indian officials to influence the UPA government to buy 12 VVIP helicopters meant to take around the President, the Prime Minister and other top functionaries of the state.

In the light of these findings, the CBI has sought a further remand of Christian Michel so that the entire racket of middlemen involved in the VVIP chopper scam can be dug out. The probe agency has in its possession incriminating evidence in the form of documents received from Italy and Switzerland.

Christian Michel is said to have told the CBI he would share names of some serving as well as retired IAF and also IAS officers who had influenced the deal between the UPA government and AgustaWestland.