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The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has made the top page of broadsheets all over the world again. He has also recently been questioned over allegations that his 2007 election campaign received illegal donations from Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oreal heiress and France’s richest woman.
The reason this time? He is to be investigated over accusations of a breach of secrecy in an alleged corruption case, the “Karachi affair”.
The Karachi affair refers to commissions and kickbacks paid by France when in 1994, it negotiated a deal to sell three Agosta-class submarines to Pakistan for a sum equivalent to €826 million. The commissions of 6.25% of the contract amount, approximately €50 million was paid out. In Pakistan, the commission enriched many military officers and political leaders. In 2002, when former French President Jacques Chirac was elected, he cancelled the commissions and kickbacks, angering many officials in Pakistan. It seems that the commissions were in part re-routed back to France to fund political activities of Chirac’s principal political rival, Prime Minister Edouard Balladu. At the time, Sarkozy was the spokesman for Balladur’s presidential election campaign.
Some reports allege that the 2002 terrorist attack that killed 11 French technicians in Karachi was due to unpaid commissions.
In September 2011, the then President Sarkozy issued a statement saying he was not being investigated in relationship to the Karachi affair. This caused anger among the engineers’ families who sued Mr. Sarkozy over the press release, claiming it violated laws that prohibit the publication of information about ongoing investigations.
At that time, the President enjoyed immunity from prosecution, but three judges have now ruled that he should be investigated.
In their official ruling, the judges stated: “The act of permitting the release of information concerning on-going investigations does not enter into the functions of the president”.
The killing of the 11 French naval engineers is only allegedly linked to France’s ceasing the payments to Pakistan. Mr Sarkozy has strongly denied that he had anything to do with the alleged deal.
Investigations are very complex procedures that in certain cases, mainly politically related may take up to several years to complete.
For any surveillance investigation questions you may have, Conflict International, a London detective agency specialising in private and corporate investigation and surveillance services is able to help.
To discuss a particular case or our services, please contact at +44 (0)20 7917 2939 and email@example.com
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