Relatives of Karachi dead want Sarkozy testimony

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Relatives of Karachi dead want Sarkozy testimony

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing calls from relatives of those killed in the 2002 Karachi bombing to testify over alleged corruption linked to their deaths.

Lawyers want Sarkozy to address claims made on Wednesday by a former defence minister, Charles Millon, that French officials paid kickbacks to Pakistani authorities on a series of arms deals.

Millon had been appointed by former president Jacques Chirac to stamp out bribery.

When the payments finally stopped years later, it allegedly resulted in the Karachi bombing.

Eleven French nationals died in the attack.

Prosecutors also say a number of officials kept some of the bribe money.

They claim these funds were then channelled through a company set up with Sarkozy’s approval to fund the 1995 presidential campaign of his political mentor Edouard Balladur.

Sarkozy was the spokesman for Balladur’s unsuccessful bid to become president of France.

Both deny the allegations of illegal party funding.