Tuesday Jun 19, 201204:56 AM GMT
Sarkozy to be questioned in Karachi Affair
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (file photo)
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (file photo)
Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:9AM
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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces possible investigations into allegations of corruption and illicit campaign financing, just days after losing his presidential immunity.


On Monday, a lawyer for French victims of a 2002 bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, filed a complaint in a Paris court against the former president in a case that investigators believe may be linked to a long-running corruption and illegal party-financing case.

In the so-called "Karachi Affair,” investigators are looking into whether money from bribes to secure France’s sale of Agosta class submarines to Pakistan in the 1990s was used to fund the failed 1995 presidential bid of then-Prime Minister Edouard Balladur. Sarkozy was Balladur's campaign spokesman and budget minister at the time.

They are also investigating whether the bomb blast in Karachi was a reprisal for Paris' decision to stop paying commissions on the sale.

The car bombing killed 15 people, mostly French defense contractors.

Sarkozy’s immunity from prosecution formally expired on Friday night. France's constitution shields presidents from testifying, being investigated and prosecution until a month after their term is up.

Sarkozy lost his re-election bid to Socialist Francois Hollande last month.

MN/MA
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