07:15 GMT24 January 2021
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    According to media reports, Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur has been placed under formal investigation in so-called Karachi affair, envisaging his alleged use of commissions and kickbacks from foreign arms sales to finance his presidential election campaign in 1995.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur has been placed under formal investigation in so-called Karachi affair, envisaging his alleged use of commissions and kickbacks from foreign arms sales to finance his presidential election campaign in 1995, local media reported Tuesday.

    The information was revealed by Le Canard Enchaine magazine on Twitter.

    The Karachi affair refers to alleged kickbacks linked to the sale of Agosta submarines by the French government to Pakistan in the 1990s. It is also connected to May 8, 2002 terrorist attack in Pakistani city of Karachi, which left 15 people dead, comprising 11 employees of the French Naval Shipbuilding Directorate (DCN), who were on their way to the dockyard to work on submarines sold to Pakistan. The investigation concluded that it was a retaliation attack over unpaid contract commissions.

    In 2014, the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a special French court which deals with ministerial misconduct cases, investigated the role played by Balladur and his then-Defense Minister Francois Leotard in the Karachi affair. The court also summoned then-President Nicolas Sarkozy as an "assisted witness," who was budget minister and campaign manager for Balladur.

    Balladur himself has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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