• Thursday, July 16, 2020

Karachi affair: Six men sentenced to prison over arms deal

Discussion in 'Pakistan Navy' started by ghazi52, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Karachi affair: Six men sentenced to prison over arms deal

    [​IMG]

    Olivier Morice said he was now focusing on the trial of Édouard Balladur


    Six men have been sentenced to two to five years in jail in France over a scandal involving almost €2m (£1.8m) in kickbacks from a 1990s arms deal.

    Three ex-French government officials and three others were found guilty of participating in the "Karachi affair" - a submarine deal with Pakistan.

    The deal involved secret commissions that allowed funds to return to France.

    Some of the money was allegedly used to fund ex-French Prime Minister Édouard Balladur's failed presidential bid.

    Mr Balladur, now aged 91, and his then-Defence Minister François Léotard, have also been charged and face trial at the criminal court in Paris in the coming months.

    Both men deny any wrongdoing.

    Monday's convictions are the first in a long-running investigation into the scandal.


    Who has been jailed?


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    The court ruled that Nicolas Bazire "knew perfectly well" about the illegal payments
    One of the former government officials sentenced on Monday was Nicolas Bazire, who was Mr Balladur's former campaign manager and best man at ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wedding to supermodel Carla Bruni in 2008.

    The court said that Mr Bazire, who was ordered to spend three years in prison, "knew perfectly well" that illegal funds had appeared in Mr Balladur's campaign accounts.

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    Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres was ordered to spend three years in prison
    Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, a former adviser to Mr Léotard, was also ordered to spend three years in jail.

    Thierry Gaubert, a former aide to Mr Sarkozy - who was then the budget minister in charge of sales and commissions - got a two-year prison sentence.

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    Thierry Gaubert is a former aide to Nicolas Sarkozy
    The remaining men convicted in Paris were former defence contractor Dominique Castellan, who was also handed two years, and two so-called Lebanese middlemen, who were sentenced to five years.

    The Lebanese businessmen, Ziad Takieddine and Abdul Rahman El-Assir, refused to appear at the Paris court and warrants have been issued for their arrest, the AFP news agency reported.



    What's the 'Karachi affair'?


    Investigations into the so-called "Karachi affair" began after 11 French engineers were killed in a Karachi bombing in 2002.

    Pakistani authorities blamed Islamist militants, but there were suspicions that the car bombing, which wrecked a bus, was an act of revenge after then-French President Jacques Chirac ordered the payments of secret arms deal commissions to stop.

    Mr Balladur is alleged to have earlier approved payment of the commissions to intermediaries in the sale of three submarines to Pakistan, and that from them so-called "retro-commissions" came back to France to fund his 1995 presidential bid.

    The kickbacks are estimated to have cost 13m francs, or almost €2m.

    Mr Sarkozy has faced legal scrutiny over the Karachi affair. He has denied any connection to the deal.

    A lawyer representing the victims of the deadly Karachi bombing praised the French court's decision on Monday.

    Olivier Morice said that "if the families had not lodged a complaint, there would not have been this judgment", adding that families were now waiting for the trial of Mr Balladur and Mr Léotard.

    Mr Balladur was the French prime minister from 1993 to 1995. Both he and Mr Léotard were charged in May 2017 with "complicity in misuse of corporate assets and concealment" over the Pakistan deal.


    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53054474
     
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  2. Aspen

    Aspen SENIOR MEMBER

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    Damn
     
  3. ghazi52

    ghazi52 PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Six jailed in Paris over ‘Karachi affair’

    By AFP
    June 15, 2020


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    File photo taken on October 07, 2019 of a court sketch of the "Karachigate" trial in Paris. PHOTO: AFP

    PARIS: A Paris court on Monday found three former French government officials and three others guilty of involvement in millions of euros in kickbacks from arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed in 1994.

    The court handed the men prison sentences of two to five years over the so-called “Karachi affair” that has dogged former prime minister Edouard Balladur, who is facing trial on charges that he used the kickbacks to help fund his failed 1995 presidential bid.

    These were the first convictions to emerge from the sprawling investigation 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 on suspicions the bombing may have been in retaliation for non-payment of promised bribes.

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

    Bazire and Donnedieu de Vabres were ordered to spend three years in prison, with the court saying Bazire “knew perfectly well” that 10.25 million francs (nearly 1.6 million euros) from dubious sources had landed in Balladur’s campaign accounts.

    Gaubert was handed a two-year sentence, as was Dominique Castellan, a former head of the international division of French naval defence contractor DCN (since renamed as the Naval Group).

    Two Lebanese middlemen who allegedly acted as go-betweens for the bribes and kickbacks, Ziad Takieddine and Abdul Rahman El-Assir, were ordered to spend five years in prison. The two middlemen refused to appear at trial, and warrants have been issued for their arrest.

    Balladur, 90, and Leotard, 77, have also been charged in the case. They are to be tried in the coming months by the Court of Justice of the Republic, a tribunal that hears cases of alleged misconduct by government ministers.

    Balladur lost the 1995 presidential contest to Jacques Chirac, who ended the payment of all remaining commissions on the arms deals.

    That prompted speculation that the 2002 Karachi bombing was revenge for the lost payouts, but the theory was dismissed by France’s DGSI counter-terrorism agency last year, saying an attack by Islamic insurgents remained the most likely scenario.

    Takieddine, one of the middlemen, is a French-Lebanese businessman with a history of ties to conservative French politicians, including Sarkozy.

    In 2016, Takieddine rocked the French establishment by claiming he delivered millions of euros in cash from former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi for Sarkozy’s successful presidential bid in 2007.

    Sarkozy was charged in 2018 with taking bribes and illegal campaign financing, accusations he has denied. A Paris appeals court is set to hear Sarkozy’s legal challenge to the inquiry in September, sources told AFP this month.


    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2243295/3-six-jailed-paris-karachi-affair/
     
  4. Dil Pakistan

    Dil Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    So, who did the bomb blast?
     
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  5. Safriz

    Safriz ELITE MEMBER

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    So who is responsible for the bomb blast? The French?
     
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  6. mudas777

    mudas777 FULL MEMBER

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    French can do us a big favour by naming the Pakistani intermediaries who were meant to get commissioned paid so culprits can be identified once for all. Mr 10% name have been touted so many times before but nothing have sticked on him so far as he always comes out with the best Pakistan doctors certificate so not to appear in the court. French you are having closure of your dead ones what about closure of our corrupt ones who were behind all this drama.
     
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  7. Pakistansdefender

    Pakistansdefender SENIOR MEMBER

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    And zardari came back. Restored democracy, made fake accounts, fucked a running country, and no one can dare touch him in pakistan.
     
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  8. nahtanbob

    nahtanbob BANNED

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    Another article blamed Pakistani security agencies

    Do you need a French court to find out who set off a bomb on Pakistani soil killing 10+ French engineers ?
     
  9. TheCrazy

    TheCrazy FULL MEMBER

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    Yes we do? What a weird thing to ask.

    Do you know the names of the people who set off this bomb? Stop being an argumentative prick. Makes you seem like a loser with not much better in life to do. Probably correct.
     
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  10. nahtanbob

    nahtanbob BANNED

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    How long has it been since the bombing ?

    The allegation is that Pakistani security establishment was involved in the bombing because bribes were not paid to them.

    If you cannot investigate your own country do not expect foreign countries to do your dirty work
     
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  11. gangsta_rap

    gangsta_rap SENIOR MEMBER

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    democracy is the best revenge
     
  12. El Sidd

    El Sidd ELITE MEMBER

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    So we were not terrorists after all.

    phew !!

    Feel like 20 year younger

    Fine.

    No Exports to France till the investigation in Pakistan concludes.
     
  13. nahtanbob

    nahtanbob BANNED

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    I suppose you meant no imports from France
     
  14. El Sidd

    El Sidd ELITE MEMBER

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    No French Revolution exports.

    FATF for France.
     
  15. nahtanbob

    nahtanbob BANNED

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    Explain to me why this deserves a negative rating. Multiple new agencies have speculated that bombings may have been revenge for non-payment of promised bribes.

    https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10837-french-ex-officials-on-trial-for-alleged-karachi-affair-bribes

    This is a serious allegation levelled against folks in power at that time
    @HRK
     
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