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Arms scandal appeal hearing begins in France

Arms scandal appeal hearing begins in France
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The French call it ‘Angolagate.’

And the latest chapter in the long-running corruption case over arms sales to the African nation has begun in Paris.

More than 20 defendants including former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua are appealing convictions handed down in 2009.

“For Mr Pasqua, who has always fought all the trials and tribulations that he has been confronted with – and who can’t accept the fact that he could be seen to be guilty – well, we will be combative in declaring his innocence,” said his lawyer Leon Lef-Forster.

Weapons sales in the 1990s to an Angola in the throes of civil war lie at the heart of the scandal. Pasqua was accused of receiving illegal payments in return for lobbying for the multi-million euro transaction and sentenced to a year behind bars.