France - Pakistan

Karachi attack families want Sarkozy to testify

AFP

A lawyer acting for the families of French engineers killed in a 2002 Karachi bomb attack on Thursday called for French President Nicolas Sarkozy to testify on the alleged corruption link.Olivier Morice has lodged a demand with the investigating magistrate that he question Sarkozy, ex-president Jacques Chirac and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin.

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"The civil parties insist that Nicolas Sarkozy can be heard, even if he is covered by presidential immunity," Morice said on Thursday. "He must remove all ambiguity."

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

The 2002 Karachi bombing killed 11 French engineers was allegedly committed after commission payments on French submarine sales to Pakistan were cancelled.

On Wednesday, former defence minister Charles Millon confirmed that certain people who received commissions gave “retrocommissions” to some highly placed individuals in France.

The investigation will again look into charges that these "retrocommissions" were  given to Edouard Balladur's campaign for the presidential ticket of his party in 1995. Sarkozy, the then-budget minister, served as the Balladur campaign spokesperson.

The French Socialist Party also agrees with the victims' families, calling for transparency over the affair. The party believes that the president of France must "explain himself."

 

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