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'Modi Offered To Free Italian Marine In Exchange Of Proof Against Sonia'

'Modi Offered To Free Italian Marine In Exchange Of Proof Against Sonia'
File - PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

British arms agent, Christian Michel, wanted by Indian investigators in helicopter scam has apparently accused the Narendra Modi government of offering Italy the freedom of two marines in exchange of information against Sonia Gandhi and her her family. 

According to the Telegraph, Michel has made these claims in a letter 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.

Michel has claimed Modi made the offer at a secret "brush-by" meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the UN General Assembly in September 2015 when both leaders were in New York.

"At this meeting, the issue of the two marines was discussed," Michel wrote through his lawyers in his letter dated December 23, 2015. "The Indian PM proposed to the Italian PM that in return for any evidence that the key adviser to Finmeccanica/ AgustaWestland (this is a reference to myself) had any relationship to any member of the Gandhi family, the honourable PM would assist in solving the case against the two Italian marines."

The Italian marines are accused of shooting two Kerala fishermen dead in February 2012 and the charges against them have had much impact on Italy and India's diplomatic relationship. While one of the marines has been allowed by the Indian Supreme Court to stay in Italy over health issues, the other one remains in India.

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