'Rafale Papers': French judges face military secrecy hurdles over probe into sale of fighters


French judges are leading an investigation into claims of corruption surrounding the 7.8-billion-euro sale to India in 2016 of 36 Dassault-built Rafale fighter aircraft. But four months after searching the headquarters of the French defence and aviation group, investigators were refused access by France's Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to classified documents concerning the contract negotiations. Yann Philippin reports.

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The French judicial investigation into the sale of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft to India is gathering pace. According to Mediapart's information, in February 2022 detectives from the OCLCIFF, the anti-corruption unit of the French police, discreetly searched the headquarters of Rafale manufacturers Dassault Aviation at Saint-Cloud in the western suburbs of Paris at the demand of investigating judges Virginie Tilmont and Pascal Gastineau. When contacted, Dassault made no comment.