'Karachi affair' suspect probed over Libya cash

By AFP
Published: December 6, 2012
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Ziad Takieddine is embroiled in a string of illegal political financing scandals, had been caught with money on private flight out of Libya in March 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Ziad Takieddine is embroiled in a string of illegal political financing scandals, had been caught with money on private flight out of Libya in March 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PARIS: A Franco-Lebanese businessman who has been charged with corruption in the “Karachi” kickbacks affair is also being investigated for suspected money laundering after being detained with 1.5 million euros in cash, it emerged on Thursday.

Judicial sources said Ziad Takieddine, who is embroiled in a string of illegal political financing scandals in France, had been caught with the money on a private flight out of Libya in March 2011, prior to the overthrow of Moamer Qaddafi.

The case has been put in the hands of examining magistrates Renaud Van Ruymbeke and Roger Le Loire, the judges who are in charge of the Karachi investigation.

That case centres on allegations that a 2002 bombing in Karachi was allegedly carried out by Pakistani agents in revenge for the non-payment of alleged bribes promised in relation to a 1994 sale of a French submarine.

The bombing killed 14 people, including 11 French naval engineers.

It is alleged that some of the cash involved was channelled back to former prime minister Edouard Balladur’s campaign to be the French right’s candidate in the 1995 presidential election.

Takieddine has been charged as acting as an intermediary.

The Karachi affair has also embroiled former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who was Balladur’s campaign spokesperson and budget minister at the time.

Media reports have claimed Sarkozy authorised the creation of a shell company used to channel kickbacks. He has been questioned by the judges but not charged with anything. Two of his former aides have been charged.

Sarkozy has also been accused, by the media, of accepting cash from Qaddafi for his own 2007 presidential election campaign.

No investigation has been opened into those claims and Sarkozy is pursuing a defamation suit against online news website Mediapart over its reporting.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Zalmai
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Corruption and terrorism have become synonymous with the land of the pure. Pakistan never ceases to amaze.

    Recommend

  • Lala
    Dec 7, 2012 - 2:36AM

    @Zalmai:

    Alternate version.

    Corruption and terrorism have become synonymous with the land of the “Afghans”. Afghanistan never ceases to amaze.

    I guess it fits both brotherly countries(Pakistan and Afghanistan in general). However Afghans officially took over Pakistan. Actually are now considered on top slot for most corrupt countries in the world (too bad they have to share the crown with Somalia and N Korea, since these 3 are tied for first place according to latest list). I guess we should thanks Karzai his and jointly owned company of “Freedom and Democracy Inc” for this great honor.Although they came close but as a matter of fact Taliban completely failed to achieve the distinct honor of the most corrupt country in the world.

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  • Insaan
    Dec 7, 2012 - 7:14AM

    That case centres on allegations that a 2002 bombing in Karachi was allegedly carried out by Pakistani agents in revenge for the non-payment of alleged bribes promised in relation to a 1994 sale of a French submarine.

    The bombing killed 14 people, including 11 French naval engineers.

    This shows how far Pakistanis can go to kill foreigners.

    Recommend

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