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

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Judge V.R.: "Did you inform the President?"

CHARLES MILLON: "Absolutely. I was in direct contact with his collaborators, in particular with the [Elysée Palace] General Secretary Monsieur Villepin, who I kept regularly informed of the investigations."

Judge V.R.: "Before cancelling the contracts, did you not make sure with the countries concerned that this would not have negative consequences for arms sales contracts?"

CHARLES MILLON: "I am almost certain to have informed the Saudi defence minister, Prince Sultan. He saw no inconvenience in the halting of the commissions concerned."

Judge V.R.: "Were you in direct contact with Monsieur de Villepin?"

CHARLES MILLON: "Yes, me or my principle secretary."

Judge V.R.: "Did he himself have information?"

CHARLES MILLON: "No. I kept him informed because the President held this issue to heart."

Judge V.R.: "Did others have information about the situation?"

CHARLES MILLON: "It was essentially Monsieur Mazens and Monsieur Lahoud who looked after that."

Judge V.R.: "How did that end up?"

CHARLES MILLON: "It was Monsieur Mazens who was given the task."

Judge V.R.: "At the time, articles in the press referred to this affair. Why was there no follow-up?"

CHARLES MILLON: "At a point in time the President told me that my mission was accomplished."

Judge V.R.: "Was an agreement made with Monsieur Léotard or Monsieur Balladur, cited in the Nautilus reports as having possibly benefited from part of the commissions?"

CHARLES MILLON: "If there was an agreement, I was absolutely not informed."

Judge V.R.: "Did Monsieur Léotard know Monsieur Takieddine?"

CHARLES MILLON: "That is of public notoriety, if I believe the newspapers."



English version: Graham Tearse

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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.