Indian court orders Briton held during copter bribery probe

Christian James Michel, center, a British man accused of bribery in a $670 million helicopter deal between India and an Italian defense company returns after appearing before a Central Bureau of Investigation court in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec.5, 2018. India's federal investigative agency said Tuesday that it extradited Michel from the United Arab Emirates to face charges of channeling money to Indian contacts. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI (AP) -- An Indian court has ruled that officials may hold a British man while they investigate him for alleged bribery in a canceled $670 million helicopter deal between India and an Italian defense company.

Judge Arvind Kumar allowed Briton Christian James Michel to meet briefly Wednesday with his attorney, who sought unsuccessfully to have him released on bail while the charges are investigated. Michel was extradited to India from Dubai on Tuesday to face charges of channeling bribes to Indian contacts.

Indian investigators said in court documents that Michel transferred the money from a British subsidiary of Finmeccanica, which has since been renamed Leonardo S.p.A.

In 2014, India received three of 12 AW101 helicopters it had ordered to fly senior officials but then halted the deal after the bribery allegations surfaced.