Keyword: Agosta submarine sale

A Q&A guide to the Karachi affair

Nicolas Sarkozy (l) and Edouard Balladur. © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy (l) and Edouard Balladur. © Reuters

It began with an article published by Mediapart. Now it has become known in France as l'affaire Karachi and dubbed 'Karachigate' by the international press. It is potentially one of the biggest French political scandals of the past two decades, engulfing President Nicolas Sarkozy along with a former president and two ex-prime ministers. Here we present a simple Q & A guide to help understand a complex and fast-moving story involving multi-billion-euro arms deals, political funding, shell companies, shadowy intermediaries - and the murders of 11 French naval engineers.

Karachi: bribes, bloodshed and the buried truth

By and
L'ancien président pakistanais Pervez Musharraf inspecte, en 2003, à Karachi, les sous-marins Agosta 90 B de la DCN, vendus au Pakistan en 1994.  © Reuters L'ancien président pakistanais Pervez Musharraf inspecte, en 2003, à Karachi, les sous-marins Agosta 90 B de la DCN, vendus au Pakistan en 1994. © Reuters

On May 8th, 2002, a group of 11 French naval engineers died in a bomb attack in the Pakistani port of Karachi. They had been helping with the construction of three Agosta 90 attack submarines, sold to Pakistan by France in 1994. An ongoing French judicial investigation into the blast is now working on the theory the murders were in retaliation for the non-payment by France of huge cash kickbacks promised to secure the deal. But evidence increasingly suggests that the bribe money was also ultimately destined for illegal political party funding in France.