'Rafale Papers’: the explosive documents in France-India jets deal

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  • 08/04/2021 19:20
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Mediapart sent detailed questions to all those involved in the issues raised in this report.

The four principal companies involved in the manufacturing of the Rafale fighter aircraft and the plane’s equipment, namely Dassault Aviation (design and manufacture), Thales (electronic equipment), Safran (jet engines) and MBDA (missile weaponry), declined to respond.

Indian business intermediary Sushen Gupta, who was contacted by email, and re-contacted on several occasions, did not respond to Mediapart’s request for an interview.  

The spokesperson for Jean-Yves Le Drian, now French foreign minister and who at the time of the events evoked here was France’s defence minister, sent Mediapart a brief written reply (which can be found in full, translated from French into English, here, or by clicking on the ‘More’ tab at the top of this page). The French armed forces ministry (the now renamed defence ministry), told Mediapart that it had “no additional commentary to add” to that provided by the foreign affairs ministry.

France’s former president François Hollande, in office over the period of the negotiations and signing of the Rafale deal, replied to Mediapart’s questions by mobile phone text messaging.

India’s agency for investigating and prosecuting economic crimes, and notably money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate, confirmed reception of Mediapart’s questions submitted to it but did not respond to them. Similarly, the Indian defence ministry press secretary acknowledged receiving Mediapart’s questions submitted to it, but no response followed.

Contacted by email, the Indian company IDS did not respond to Mediapart’s questions.