The deaths of eleven French people in Pakistan eight years ago threatens to embroil today’s political leadership. The victims were helping re-fit submarines sent to Pakistan from France. It’s alleged that a top-level decision in Paris to stop paying commission on the deal led to the attack.
The former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told French television that there were legal, and illegal, commissions paid, with money secretly sent back to France. It’s claimed some of that money was used by then-presidential hopeful Edouard Balladur. His 1995 campaign was run by the man who is now President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who rejects out of hand any corruption, and insisted today there is no basis for the allegations. He said all relevant documents will be released in due time.
De Villepin paid tribute to former President Jacques Chirac who, he said, entered the Elysee Palace in 1995 determined to clean up politics. He was the one who ordered an end to the secret commision payments.
The victims’ relatives want de Villepin, Chirac and President Sarkozy to say what they knew about France’s allegedly murky deals in the mid-1990s.