In 2016 France and India signed a 7.8-billion-euro deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale jet fighters made by French defence group Dassault. Mediapart can reveal that, alongside this controversial deal, Dassault also agreed to pay one million euros to a middleman who is now under investigation in India in connection with another defence deal. The French anti-corruption agency Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) discovered this separate arrangement during a routine audit of Dassault. The AFA nonetheless decided not to alert the prosecution authorities over the payment. This is the first part of Mediapart's investigation into a state scandal which also raises questions over the both the justice system and the political authorities. Yann Philippin reports.
A deal for the supply by France to India of a further 36 Rafale fighter jets is to be discussed at a meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of this weekend's G7 summit in Biarritz, according to Indian media reports quoting unnamed sources.
French aerospace and defence group Dassault Aviation has issued a statement insisting it 'freely' chose India's Reliance Group, run by a businessman close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as its local industrial partner as part of the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, following the revelation by Mediapart of a document in which one of its senior executives is cited as saying the choice of Reliance was 'imperative and obligatory' in securing the contract.
Speaking at a press briefing in Paris on Thurday, Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated her government's claim that did not impose an Indian company run by a businessman close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as local industrial partner for Dassault Aviation in the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, despite new evidence published by Mediapart suggesting that was the case.
Indian political opposition groups this weekend called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign after a report in Mediapart on Friday in which former French president François Hollande's comments on an 8-billion-euro fighter deal with New Delhi suggested possible favouritism by Modi in the choice of the Indian partner in the joint venture.
Actionnaires directs et indirects : Société pour l’Indépendance de Mediapart, Fonds pour une Presse Libre, Association pour le droit de savoir
Rédaction et administration : 127 avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75011 Paris
Courriel : firstname.lastname@example.org
Téléphone : + 33 (0) 1 44 68 99 08
Propriétaire, éditeur, imprimeur : Société Editrice de Mediapart
Abonnement : pour toute information, question ou conseil, le service abonnés de Mediapart peut être contacté par courriel à l’adresse : email@example.com ou par courrier à l'adresse : Service abonnés Mediapart, 11 place Charles de Gaulle 86000 Poitiers. Vous pouvez également adresser vos courriers à Société Editrice de Mediapart, 127 avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75011 Paris.