Keyword: Edouard Balladur

Karachi affair: final proof of secret kickbacks to fund French politicians

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MM. Sarkozy, Balladur et Léotard. © Reuters MM. Sarkozy, Balladur et Léotard. © Reuters

The prosecution authorities in Paris have recommended that six people, including three former senior political aides, face trial over the Karachi affair. The ex-aides, who at the time of the alleged offences were working for prime minister Édouard Balladur, defence minister François Léotard and budget minister Nicolas Sarkozy, are accused of setting up a massive system to siphon “commissions” from major arms deals back to France for political funding, or of receiving those illegal kickbacks. Mediapart has now obtained a copy of the prosecutors' legal reasoning, which details this complex web of networks and bank accounts and which, confirm the prosecutors, was aimed at the “secret funding of French politicians”. As Fabrice Arfi reports, the question still remains as to whether the advisors' political masters will one day face trial over the affair.

French judges want Sarkozy heard in kickbacks probe, says lawyer

Investigating magistrates want court that deals with alleged ministerial wrongdoings to hear former president as 'assisted witness' in Karachi affair.

Sarkozy’s legal woes roll on despite court ruling

Probe into ex-president's role in Bettencourt affair is over but other cases threaten damage to his reputation as he mulls over poltical comeback.

France investigates public transport chief in 'Karachi' probe

Pierre Mongin, chief of staff of former prime minister Edouard Balladur, has been placed under formal investigation by magistrates.

Ziad Takieddine says he paid illegal kickbacks to fund former French PM Edouard Balladur’s failed presidential bid

The Lebanese businessman says he handed over suitcases of cash in Geneva that came from arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Kuwaiti sheik's Swiss account reveals key cash clue to 'Karachi Affair'

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A Paris judge investigating the suspected illegal financing of former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur’s presidential election campaign has uncovered new and compelling evidence that he received a significant sum of cash siphoned off from a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, Mediapart can reveal. The discovery, a major development in what has become known as 'the Karachi Affair', centres on cash withdrawn from a Swiss bank account belonging to a member of Kuwait’s ruling Al-Sabah family, Sheik Ibrahim Al-Duaij Al-Sabah. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Judges step up hunt for the phantom figure behind the Karachi Affair

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El Assir El Assir

A key suspect in a major investigation into the French illegal political funding scandal known as the ‘Karachi Affair’ is also wanted for suspected money laundering by police in Spain, where he had close links with former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar and King Juan Carlos, Mediapart can reveal. Companies belonging to Abdul Rahman Al Assir (pictured), a Lebanese-born businessman and arms intermediary, received millions of euros in commissions from French weapons sales that are at the heart of corruption scam allegations implicating President Sarkozy and his close entourage. Despite an international arrest warrant issued against him, El Assir is still on the run. Mediapart, meanwhile, tracked him down in Geneva. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report on the phantom witness that some are hoping will remain just so.

French judge finds key evidence in illegal funding probe

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A Paris magistrate investigating suspected illegal political party funding in France has obtained documents (photo), extracts of which are exclusively published here by Mediapart, which amount to the most significant evidence yet indicating that former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur's presidential election campaign may have been partly funded via French weapons sales abroad. While the events date from the 1990s, they lie at the heart of what has become known as the Karachi Affair, a fast-developing corruption scandal implicating current French President Nicolas Sarkozy and several of his senior political allies. Fabrice Arfi reports.

The secret financier who brings danger to the Sarkozy clan

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Brice Hortefeux et Ziad Takieddine. © Document Mediapart Brice Hortefeux et Ziad Takieddine. © Document Mediapart

Ziad Takieddine is best known to the public in connection with the ongoing judicial investigations into suspected illegal kickbacks from ‘commissions' paid during the controversial sale of submarines by France to Pakistan during the 1990s. But Mediapart can now exclusively reveal the businessman and arms broker's privileged relations at the very heart of President Nicolas Sarkozy's inner circle. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske investigate a man who represents a political time bomb for the French presidency.

France Names Ex-PM Balladur To Head G8 Group For Arab Countries

Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur in charge of G8 group team to help Arab countries transform to democracy, Elysée announces.

Balladur's second stash of cash

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Edouard Balladur. © Reuters Edouard Balladur. © Reuters

Already at the centre of the Karachi affair over suspected illegal electoral funding from arms sale kickbacks, former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur is now facing more questions over large and mysterious cash sums belonging to a political organization under his control. This time it concerns a stash of almost 100,000 euros found lying in a Paris safe, officially destined to pay for weekly breakfast meetings, and which was the object of a rapidly-shelved investigation in 2007.

Senior French defence chief told of former PM's 'kickback scam'

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 © Reuters © Reuters

A former controller-general of the French armed forces told a parliamentary mission he was informed that former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur financed his presidential election campaign with illegal kick-backs on the sale of submarines to Pakistan, Mediapart can reveal. The disclosure of Jean-Louis Porchier's testimony raises further questions about the role played by Balladur's then-budget minister and campaign spokesman, Nicolas Sarkozy (left on photo).

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 witness reveals 'kickback blackmail' attempt

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A key witness in the investigation into suspected illegal political funding in France from bribes allocated for the sale of French submarines to Pakistan has given testimony of a blackmail attempt against senior government figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy, in the months before the 2007 presidential elections and centred on allegedly compromising information about the kickbacks. We reveal here what he told a French judge.

How the Karachi affair caught up with Nicolas Sarkozy

The families of 11 French engineers killed in a bomb blast in Pakistan in 2002 want French President Nicolas Sarkozy to be formerly questioned by an investigating magistrate about what he knows of a corruption deal linked to the attack.

The deal is suspected to have involved illegal political party funding in France, paid through secret kick-backs from the sale of submarines to Pakistan, a scam largely confirmed in November in the testimony, before a judge, of a former French defence minister.

Mediapart, which has led the revelations over what is now known as 'the Karachi affair', has produced a video report clearly explaining the backround to the scandal now engulfing the French president. Click here to watch the video and to read a selection of Mediapart reports on the story.