Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » World
2-min read

French Former Govt Officials on Trial over Alleged Arms Deals with Pakistan & Saudi Arabia

The trial is the first to arise out of a sprawling investigation into the so-called Karachi affair, named after the Pakistani city where a bus carrying French defence engineers was blown up in 2002, killing 15 people.

AFP

Updated:October 7, 2019, 9:03 PM IST
facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp
French Former Govt Officials on Trial over Alleged Arms Deals with Pakistan & Saudi Arabia
Image for representation.

Paris: Three top former French government aides went on trial Monday charged with arranging a system of kickbacks on arms deals with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the 1990s.

The trial is the first to arise out of a sprawling investigation into the so-called Karachi affair, named after the Pakistani city where a bus carrying French defence engineers was blown up in 2002, killing 15 people.

Al-Qaeda was initially suspected of the attack, but the focus later shifted to the arms deals amid suspicions the bombing may have been revenge for non-payment of promised bribes.

A total of six people went on trial in a Paris criminal court Monday on suspicion of misappropriating part of the proceeds from the arms deals.

They included three former government aides who served under conservative ex-prime minister Edouard Balladur.

Balladur, 90, was himself last week ordered to stand trial over claims that he used some of the kickbacks to fund his failed 1995 presidential bid.

The three aides are Nicolas Bazire, Balladur's former campaign manager; Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, a former advisor to his defence minister Francois Leotard; and Thierry Gaubert, a former aide to then budget minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

Also accused are Dominique Castellan, a former head of the international division of French naval defence contractor DCN (since renamed Naval Group), and two Lebanese middlemen who allegedly acted as go-betweens for the bribes and kickbacks -- Ziad Takieddine and Abdul Rahman El-Assir.

El-Assir was not present at the start of the trial.

Paying bribes on arms deals was common practice when Balladur's government won contracts to sell submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Saudi Arabia in 1994.

Earning kickbacks on the deals was banned, however.

Investigators suspect the French of having paid some 327 million euros (USD 359 million) in bribes on the deals, including some 13 million euros in kickbacks.

After defeating Balladur for the presidency in 1995, Chirac ended the payment of all remaining commissions on the deals.

Balladur has denied knowledge of any commissions or kickbacks and said he was not responsible for the "details" of the financing of his presidential campaign.

He and his former defence minister Leotard, 77, have been charged with complicity in the alleged misappropriation of part of the proceeds of the arms deals.

Both will be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic, a separate tribunal that hears cases of alleged misconduct by ministers and prime ministers in the course of their duties.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results