/ languages

Choisir langue

France/Pakistan - Karachi bombing

Sarkozy threatens to sue over corruption jibe

Article published on the 2009-12-17 Latest update 2009-12-17 16:06 TU

The funeral of some of the victims in the French port of Cherbourg in 2002(Photo: AFP)

The funeral of some of the victims in the French port of Cherbourg in 2002
(Photo: AFP)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to sue a lawyer who accused him of being "at the heart of the corruption" which allegedly led to the deaths of 14 people in a bomb attack in the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2002.

Families have started legal action against former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur in the case.

Sarkozy was Minister of the Budget in period leading up to the attack, which claimed 14 lives. Lawyer Olivier Morice says that means that he was "perfectly aware" that "exorbitant commissions" were being paid to Pakistani officials.

The explosion was at first blamed on Al-Qaeda. But revelations since have led to suspicion that Pakistani agents carried it out because illegal French commissions on an arms deal had been stopped.

A report by France's state-owned naval construction firm, DCN, which was leaked in June, alleged that a cut from the commissions went to funding the presidential campaign of former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur.

But Balladur's rival, Jacques Chirac, won the mainstream right nomination and the election. On taking office he scrapped the commissions, allegedly angering Pakistani officers who lost their share.

Six familes of victims have now taken legal action against Balladur for corruption.

"The families have been deceived by the French state and several French and Pakistani top-ranking political leaders," Morice said Wednesday.


Bookmark and Share