One of the biggest arms dealing trials in history has wound up in France with prison terms for some former high-ranking officials, notably the former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.
The 82-year-old Senator received a three-year sentence, with two years suspended, and a 100,000 euro fine. Several of the 42 other people involved were also sent to jail and fined. Arms dealer Pierre Falcone received the heaviest sentence, six years, but the son of the late president Mitterrand, Jean-Charles, was given a two-year suspended sentence and a 375,000 euro fine. The case involved a famous novelist, a magistrate, a lawyer, a business man who has sought refuge in Russia, and a former Miss Bolivia. Angola was their market in the 1990s, accused of selling arms from the former Soviet Union at sky-high prices and bribing officials there and in France, which had not authorised the trade. Some of the money was returned to France to fund political campaigns.