Karachi bomb blast: the astonishing revelations of a French defence minister

By and
This article is open access. Information protects us. I subscribe

Judge V.R.: "How did you proceed?"

CHARLES MILLON: "I asked my ministerial staff to alert all the heads of services so that they proceeded with verifications. In my cabinet, it was Marwan Lahoud who was responsible, under the authority of my principal private secretary."

Judge V.R.: "Were there phone taps targeting the collaborators of François Léotard (extract from the book 'The Contract' –, report D5,– Page 225), François Lépine, Patrick Molle and Pierre-Louis Dillais?"

CHARLES MILLON: "Yes. I asked for them from the Prime Minister, Monsieur [Alain] Juppé, in the person of his principal private secretary, Monsieur Gourdault-Montagne, who is today an ambassador. It was my principal private secretary, Jean-Louis Chaussande, who contacted him. François Lépine, Patrick Molle and Pierre-Louis Dillais had received death threats and that was the reason the phone taps were ordered. It involved an official procedure, the taps having been carried out by, I think, the centre at the Invalides."

Judge V.R.: "What came from the phone taps?"


Ordered halt to kick-backs: Jacques Chirac. © DR Ordered halt to kick-backs: Jacques Chirac. © DR
Judge V.R.: "According to an article in Le Monde dated July 9th, 1993, quoted on page 222 of the book 'The Contract', phone taps were apparently carried out by the DGSE under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. Is that true?"

CHARLES MILLON: "That's possible. I don't remember who carried out the taps. I know that it was done under the terms of official procedures."

Judge V.R.: "Did DGSE agents carry out checks on contracts?"

CHARLES MILLON: "I think so. The head of the DGSE was Monsieur Dewatre, who is now retired."

Judge V.R.: "Were the phones of Messrs Léotard, Donnedieu de Vabres and Douffiagues also tapped?"

CHARLES MILLON: "No, not to my knowledge. What I remember is that it was the collaborators who received death threats."

Judge V.R.: "On page 223 of the book, the authors write that you told them that this surveillance targeted the collaborators who had received death threats, between July and October 1995. You are quoted as follows: 'What's more, when Léotard found out, he called me in a total panic, he thought that we had discovered all Balladur's secrets over the arms sales'?

CHARLES MILLON: "I confirm that Léotard, who had learnt that there were phone taps, asked me for an appointment to question me over the reasons for the taps. I met him and I told him them. At that occasion he pointed out that he found it inelegant to investigate contracts concluded during the time he was minister."

Judge V.R.: "Did he speak of the existence of secrets of the Balladur government concerning arms sales?"


Judge V.R.: "Did the Ministry of Defence task the secret services to trace the movements of funds from retro-commissions as you indicated while citing [the names of countries] to the authors of the book (page 225)?"

CHARLES MILLON: "I told them exactly that the DGSE had investigated whether there were deposits of sums that came from commissions linked to armaments, and it appeared that there were movements in the countries cited by the authors, but the DGSE never managed to find solid proof of these deposits and movements. It was Dewatre who supervised these operations."

No mobilization without confidence
No trust without truth
Support us

Mediapart's extensive and revealing investigations into the Karachi affair are contained in a book by Fabrice Arfi and Fabrice Lhomme: 'Le Contrat - Karachi, l'affaire que Sarkozy voudrait oublier', currently available in French only, published in May, 2010 by Stock.