Société | By Guillaume Dasquie | 10 November 2009
[Veuillez trouver la page 2 de ce poste pour l'original, en français]
Ali Zardari had received commissions in the case of submarines of the DCN.
This morning, in an Annexe of the National Assembly, the parliamentary inquiry committee [la mission d’information parlementaire] on “the conditions of negotiations and the contract of sale of three Agosta 90 submarines to Pakistan” will receive the families of victims of the Karachi attack.
Eleven employees of the Directorate of Naval Construction (DCN) died on May 8, 2002 in Karachi, while they worked with Pakistan under this contract. In the search for causes of this attack, the judge is no longer focusing on the scenario of a bombing by Al-Qaeda, but instead is exploring two other possibilities. One hypothesis is that the attack was related to unpaid kickbacks. The other hypothesis is that the attack was in retribution for negotiations in 2001 by France to sell submarines to India, the traditional enemy — an event held by an intermediary of DCN, Jean-Marie Boivin, which was revealed by Mediapart during a recent hearing. In both cases, “the importance of the topic justifies the parliamentarians’ efforts to know more about the negotiations surrounding the contract, and details of its implementation,” said MP (PS) Bernard Cazeneuve, rapporteur of the information mission, and deputy mayor of Cherbourg — the stronghold of the DCN.
A reasonable goal, provided that all the French actors of the Euro 825 million contract lift the veil on the pattern of corruption that underlies it. For the embezzlement that accompanied this military-industrial agreement goes back up to the top executive. Locally, in Pakistan, Libération has received documents showing that the current president, Ali Zardari, has been received kickbacks [a pu être corrompu] to the tune of 4.3 million dollars for this contract with France.
Accounts. Explanation: between October 1993 and November 1996, the Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, offered many official positions to her husband, Ali Zardari. The latter took the opportunity to demand commissions in all directions, in agreement with his wife. A feature that earned him the nickname of “Mister 10%” and caused his downfall. Arrested on December 19, 1996, he was jailed for protecting a drug trafficker in return for compensation, according to an Islamabad prosecutor’s letter, from whom we have obtained copies. It also mentions several bank accounts opened in Europe. From 1997, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB, a kind of fiscal discipline court) undertook to identify assets held abroad by the Bhutto-Zardari couple, in cooperation with the Swiss and the British. According to the Office of the Swiss magistrate Vincent Fournier, whom we asked, these Pakistani requests mention contracts that may have generated kickbacks in favor of Ali Zardari, including the DCN contract for submarines. Four years later, these efforts proved fruitful.
One NAB report indicates that on April 12, 2001 the British administration passed on to Islamabad almost 22,000 documents on financial transactions of Ali Zardari. During the year 2001 financial procedures hardened against him. All documents sent by London show that he received large sums from a businessman of Lebanese origin, Abdulrahman al-Asir. He was imposed as an intermediary “by political power” ["par le pouvoir politique"] in the French Agreement of September 21, 1994 for the sale of the submarines, according to a former head of the DCN, who was interviewed in Paris. An order by the British judge, Lawrence Collins, of October 6, 2006 lists the transfers sent by El-Asir to Zardari: 1.3 million dollars in two installments, between August 15, and 30, 1994, a month before the signing of the contract. Then 1.2 million and 1.8 million dollars a year later, between August 22 and September 1, 1995. Judge Collins stated that these payments correspond to operations of corruption. A few months before Zardari’s return to power, all prosecutions and seizures in Switzerland were abandoned, on April 9, 2008.
Military. But the current President of Pakistan is only one of the beneficiaries of these flows that have been validated by Paris. According to the hearings of financiers of DCN, commissions account for 10% of the proceeds from the sale [ce marché] of these submarines. Divided into two components: 4% for politicians (including Ali Zardari) and 6% for the military. NAB reports collected in Karachi indicate that the Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Navy in 1994, Mansoor ul-Haq, benefited from this corruption. Arrested in April 2001, he was forced to return nearly $ 7 million related to the submarines contract.
[Note: The French expression pots-de-vin (literally, jars of wine) refers to bribes.]
Govt rejects Zardari kickback allegations (12 November 2009)
Agosta Kickbacks: Another France24.com Story (Translated from the French) (20 June 2009 – 3)
Agosta Kickbacks: The France24.com Story (20 June 2009 – 2)
Agosta Kickbacks: Pakistan Blocks France24.com (20 June 2009 – 1)
Page 2 : l’original, en français
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