Rafale jets sale to India: Macron, Hollande and the blind eye of France's anti-corruption services

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In this second of a three-part series of investigations into the controversial sale by France to India of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, Mediapart details how the then head of the French public prosecution services’ financial crimes branch, Éliane Houlette, shelved investigations into evidence of corruption behind the deal, despite the contrary opinion of her colleagues. France’s current president, Emmanuel Macron, and his predecessor, François Hollande, are cited in the allegations levelled in the case. Houlette has since justified her decision as preserving “the interests of France, the workings of institutions”. Yann Philippin reports. 

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It was at the end of October 2018 when Éliane Houlette, then head of the French public prosecution services’ financial crimes branch, the PNF, was handed a legal statement filed by a well-established anti-corruption NGO alerting her office to a suspected and potentially far-reaching scam involving the French state and one of the country’s industrial giants, Dassault Aviation.