In a sensational revelation, a British arms agent wanted by Indian investigators in a helicopter scam has accused the Narendra Modi government of offering Italy the freedom of two marines in exchange for evidence against Sonia Gandhi and her family.
Kolkata-based The Telegraph newspaper reported that Christian Michel, the 54-year-old agent, wrote to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Seas in Hamburg and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague where Italy and India are battling legally over murder charges against the marines.
This newspaper, however, clarified that it had not been able to independently verify Michel’s allegations.
Michel claimed that Modi had made the offer at a secret “brush-by” meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the UN General Assembly in September 2015 in New York.
“The charges are too ridiculous to comment on,” foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup was quoted by the paper.
The PMO has not commented on this revelation.
The issue of Italian marines had become a contentious issue even before Modi became the prime minister. While in opposition, Modi never missed an opportunity to embarrass the Congress-led government for allegedly going soft against the Italian marines, where were allowed to leave India.
In one of his tweets, Modi had said, “On the issue of #ItalianMarines, nothing short of their return to India must be the acceptable outcome.”
His critics on social media have been digging out the above tweet and other comments to remind his ‘contradictions’ on Italian marines.
(Photo: The Hindu)