MM. Sarkozy et Guéant © Reuters
Mediapart has obtained confidential documents that reveal how international arms dealer Ziad Takieddine was mandated by Nicolas Sarkozy's staff, before and after he became president, to negotiate on their behalf major weapons and security contracts with the Libyan regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
- Takieddine was notably an intermediary for the sale of a French encrypted signals system to protect the Libyan regime from surveillance by the US-led Western communications interception network known as ‘Echelon'.
- Mediapart can also reveal that President Sarkozy's former chief-of-staff, the current French interior minister Claude Guéant misled, while under oath, a French parliamentary commission investigating the circumstances of French involvement in the freeing of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian medic jailed in Libya, in 2007.
MM. Mougeotte et Copé et Mlle Rousseau chez Ziad Takieddine. © (dr.)
In a series of reports that began July 11th, Mediapart has revealed the close links between businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine and ranking members of President Nicolas Sarkozy's entourage, including ministers past and present. The documents and photos exclusively obtained by Mediapart raise important questions over the political relations and the role of the Franco-Lebanese intermediary who is regarded as a key witness in an ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political financing in France via commissions paid in weapons sales abroad, notably a sale of French submarines to Pakistan. In this sixth report, Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske return to a lavish party thrown by Takieddine in 2002 for a glittering guest list of French movers and shakers from the worlds of politics, the media, business and the lofty ranks of the civil service.
A.Senoussi © (dr.)
Mediapart has obtained documents revealing how French President Nicolas Sarkozy's close entourage, including serving and former ministers, attempted a reconciliation with the outlawed regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi which included moves to sideline an international warrant for the arrest of the colonel's security chief, Abdullah Senussi (photo, circled), sentenced in absentia in France for the bombing of a French airliner that left 170 people dead. While the International Criminal Court has now issued arrest warrants for Senussi, Gaddafi and his son, Saif al-Islam, for "murder and crimes against humanity" during the recent upheavals in Libya. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report on the muddied background to NATO's military campaign for democracy in Libya.
A French court will decide in August whether the new IMF chief Christine Lagarde will be investigated for her role, when French finance minister, in the controversial 2008 award of more than 400 million euros of public money to French tycoon Bernard Tapie. The case took a new twist in July after Mediapart led revelations over a secret pact between flamboyant, twice-fold rags-to-riches Tapie and an equally colourful entrepreneur called André Guelfi, a.k.a.Dédé la Sardine. The two men, who first met in prison, agreed to share their winnings in Tapie's compensation claim against the Crédit Lyonnais bank, and Guelfi's astronomic and ongoing compensation demand of more than 1 billion euros from oil giant Total, with funds destined to an offshore tax haven. Laurent Mauduit reports.
Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine is a key witness in an ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political financing in France via commissions paid in weapons sales abroad, notably a sale of French submarines to Pakistan. In an ongoing series of investigations into the arms dealer's close ties with the entourage of President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mediapart reveals how, when Takieddine was brokering a weapons deal for Sarkozy when the latter was interior minister, he fell victim to a mysterious accident on the exclusive billionaires' retreat in the Caribbean island of Mustique. The minister's top aides rushed to save him from a near-certain death in what Takieddine claimed was an assassination attempt.
A contract for the sale of submarines to Pakistan is currently the subject of a French judicial investigation into suspected illegal political party funding in France via commissions paid abroad. Several witnesses have identified Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine as being a principal intermediary in the deal. In this third report on the activities of the arms dealer and his close relations with President Nicolas Sarkozy's immediate entourage, Mediapart reveals how in 2003 Takieddine was destined to receive 350 million euros in secret commissions from another arms contract, via a company run by the interior ministry then headed by Sarkozy. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske investigate.
Z.Takieddine © Mediapart
In an ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political party funding in France via a sale of submarines to Pakistan, several witnesses have identified Franco-Lebanese businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine (photo) as being a principle intermediary in the deal. Earlier this week, Mediapart revealed his closeness to key members of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's inner circle. In this second report, Mediapart can disclose how Takieddine pays no income tax nor wealth tax in France, despite being domiciled in the country and where, according to documents signed by his hand, he has a wealth of 40 million euros. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske investigate.
Brice Hortefeux et Ziad Takieddine. © Photo 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.
La centrale de Paluel (photo EDF).
Mediapart can exclusively reveal that one of France's largest nuclear power plants, situated at Paluel, overlooking the English Channel in Normandy (photo), has recently been plagued by a series of disturbing incidents including contamination of staff and recurrent leaks of radioactive gas and seepage from cracked fuel rod casings. Mediapart has obtained access to documents and witness accounts that testify to a prevalent atmosphere of fear among workers at the plant which lies 60 miles from the English coastline and where the regularly-activated alarm system had to be re-tuned to lower safety levels. Jade Lindgaard and Michel de Pracontal investigate.
French secret services were informed in 1999 that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari received 70 million dollars in bribes from France in the 1990s for the sale of three French submarines to Pakistan. Mediapart has gained exclusive access to evidence in a French judicial investigation into a far-reaching suspected arms deal scam that left 11 French naval engineers dead resulting from a political feud over illegal party funding in France.