France to start an inquiry in Agosta Submarine Scandal in which Zardari ‘pocketed millions’
Former French PM Edouard Balladur to face court allegations over Pakistan arm deal.
- French ex-PM Balladur ordered to stand trial over campaign graft.
- Former French PM was charged with “complicity in misuse of corporate assets and concealment” over the 1994 sale deal with Pakistan.
A French court has charged Ex-French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur will stand trial over the so-called “Karachi affair”. There are allegations that in the mid-1990s former PM of France made a controversial arms deal with Pakistan.
According to the source, the former prime minister of France will face court allegations for cracking a submarine deal with Pakistan eventually helped in his 1995 presidential campaign. The top prosecutor of France said on Tuesday.
A “Karachi affair” that involves the sale of Agosta 90B-class submarines was a serious scandal including negotiations between the former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and the French presidencies of Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac.
Balladur was prime minister of France from 1993 to 1995 but lost his presidency to Chirac.
A special tribunal court of justice has ordered 90-year-old along with a 77-year-old defense minister will face the trial. This special tribunal is for past and present members of the government said prosecutor Francois Molin. Although both the ex-PM and defense minister denied all the allegations.
In May 2017, former French PM was charged with “complicity in misuse of corporate assets and concealment” over the 1994 sale deal with Pakistan.
The allegations became known after a 2002 suicide bombing in the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Fifteen people were killed in that attack including 11 French engineers who were working on the submarine project.
Initially, the authorities blamed the Islamist groups, but after the investigations, it was led to many questions that whether the attack was an unfortunate incident or it was a retaliation for non-payment of bribes promised to local officials.
The case is one of the high profile cases involving senior politicians of France and prosecutors.
Zardari pocketed money
Former Pakistani president , Asif Ali Zardari, benefited from massive, secret payments connected to the sale of French submarines to Pakistan. In 2011 a Paris magistrate investigating a suspected widespread fraud surrounding the deal have seized the evidence.
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