Son of Briton detained in India, whose fate is believed to be linked to Princess Latifa, appeals to Boris Johnson

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The son of a British businessman imprisoned in India on Saturday called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene on behalf of his father, who claims to have been exchanged with Princess Latifa, daughter of the Emir of Dubai from whom she is said the “hostage”.

“I hope he will take into account that he is a British citizen, and a British citizen under his protection as Prime Minister of our country,” Alaric Michel, 26, told Sky News.

His father Christian Michel, 59, is accused of being involved in a corruption scandal linked to a defense contract in India, and was extradited in December 2018 from Dubai, where he worked, in India.

According to his lawyers, he would have been exchanged by the Indian authorities for Princess Latifa, whose boat had been arrested in March 2018 by the Indian Navy after her flight from Dubai, where she said she had been “tortured”. She was then brought back to the wealthy Gulf city-state.

In videos shot in 2019 and released last week by British media, Princess Latifa, 35, says she is being held “hostage” in a “villa turned into a prison” and fears for her life. Both London and the UN have asked for proof of life.

On Friday, the United Nations Arbitrary Detention Working Group called for the immediate release of Christian Michel, considering that he was being arbitrarily detained.

This working group is particularly concerned by the statements of the detainee, which have not been “contested by any of the governments”, that his extradition constituted “a de facto exchange” for the return to the Emirates of a prominent figure in March 2018.

New Delhi responded indirectly on Saturday. Without saying anything about the princess, the Indian government simply pointed out that the extradition of Mr. Michel and his arrest in India had taken place “under normal procedures” provided for by the extradition treaty between the two countries and by Indian laws.

“I think it’s good that we finally have vocal and physical support from the UN,” said Alaric Michel, “because if you have UN support, it shows that there is clearly Something is wrong “.

He said he was worried about the health of his father, who was detained in difficult conditions in New Delhi.

Christian Michel is accused of being involved in the payment of bribes to Indian officials for the sale in 2010 of 12 helicopters from the Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland for 556 million euros.