Former top French government aides sent for trial in arms kickbacks scam

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Investigating magistrates Renaud Van Ruymbeke and Roger Le Loire on Thursday sent six men for trial on charges related to a vast illegal funding scam that saw millions of euros siphoned off in kickbacks paid from official French weapons contracts with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The cash, which the judicial investigation has established was mostly carried in suitcases to France from Swiss banking centre Geneva, was allegedly used to fund the presidential election campaign of conservative politician Édouard Balladur, who mounted his bid while prime minister.