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Former French Prime Minister Balladur will be tried for possible bribes in the sale of submarines to Pakistan

October 1, 2019

PARIS, Oct. 1 (Reuters / EP) –

Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and former French Minister of Defense François Leotard will be tried for the so-called 'Karachi case', in which a court investigates the possible payment of bribes for the sale of submarines of the Agosta class to the Armed Forces from Pakistan in the mid-1990s, a judicial official said.

Balladur, who was Gallic Prime Minister from 1993 to 1995, and whoever was his Defense Head will be judged by a special court charged with prosecuting members and former members of the Government. The two exalted charges have denied that they committed irregularities.

The investigators of the case are trying to determine if the bribes that would have been paid for the purchase of the three submarines of the Agosta class were destined to finance the Balladur campaign in the 1995 presidential elections, in which he was defeated by Jacques Chirac.

The judges try to clarify a series of negotiations with intermediaries and the possible possible payment of bribes in the framework of the sale of the submarines of the Agosta class to Pakistan in the 1990s. The case came to light after a bomb attack. in 2002 that ended the life of eleven French citizens who worked on the submarine project.

The Pakistani authorities attributed the attack to Islamist militiamen, but an investigation is trying to establish whether there is a relationship with economic interests linked to the sale of the three submarines.