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PPP President Asif Ali Zardari Received Bribes in French Submarines Sale to Pakistan Navy

Posted by yourpakistan on November 10, 2009


PPP President Asif Ali Zardari Received Bribes in French Submarines Sale to Pakistan Navy:

Report: Pakistani President Suspected of Graft in Submarine Sale PARIS, France, 10 November 2009 (DPA) – Pakistani [PPP] president Asif Ali Zardari is suspected of having received millions of dollars in kickbacks from the 1994 sale of three French submarines to the Pakistan Navy, the daily Liberation [newspaper based in Paris, France] reported Tuesday.

In addition, investigators believe that the non-payment of the full amount of the agreed kickbacks may have led to the deaths of 11 French nationals in a 2002 terror attack in the city of Karachi [Pakistan]. In the report, Liberation says it acquired documents that allegedly show that [Asif Ali] Zardari received 4.3 million dollars in kickbacks from the sale of three Agosta 90 submarines for 825 million euros (currently 1.237 billion dollars).

The documents were sent to the Pakistani National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by British authorities in April 2001 and indicate that [Asif Ali] Zardari received several large payments into his Swiss bank accounts from a Lebanese businessman, Abdulrahman el-Assir, in 1994 and 1995.

According to a former executive of the French naval defence company DCN, French authorities chose el-Assir to act as intermediary in the deal. He allegedly deposited a total of 1.3 million dollars in [Asif Ali] Zardari’s bank accounts between August 15 and 30, 1994, one month before the submarines contract was signed, and then 1.2 million dollars and 1.8 million dollars one year later.

According to DCN employees, who testified in the terror attack investigation, the kickbacks to Pakistan in the deal totalled 10 percent of the purchase amount, with 6 percent, or 49.5 million dollars, going to the military and 4 percent, or 33 million euros, being funneled to political circles.

In 2001, former Pakistan Navy Chief of Staff [Admiral] Mansur ul Haq was arrested for his part in the deal and forced to repay 7 million dollars, the daily [Liberation] says.

– http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsMay2001/newsbeat2.htm
– http://www.pmln.org.pk/mansoor.php

Legal proceedings against [Asif Ali] Zardari were [illegally] dropped in April 2008, several months before he was [unlawfully] elected president. However, the husband of the assassinated former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was imprisoned from 1997 to 2004 on corruption charges unrelated to this affair.

The Pakistani [PPP] president is one of his country’s richest men, with a net worth estimated at 1.8 billion dollars. The ongoing investigation in Paris into the May 8, 2002, terrorist attack that killed 11 DCN employees in Karachi may shed new light on the submarines purchase and his part in it. The victims were in Karachi to complete work on the three submarines. According to French media, the magistrate looking into the bombing has rejected the theory that it was the work of ‘al-CIA-da’.

He is now considering the possibility that it was carried out by Pakistanis, either because only 85 percent of the agreed kickbacks to politicians had been paid or because of negotiations carried out by French authorities to sell submarines to India, Pakistan’s enemy.

In any case, some French parliamentarians are now demanding to be allowed to look into how the submarines contract with Pakistan was negotiated and executed.

References:
– http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsMay2001/newsbeat2.htm
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1274259.stm
– http://www.dawn.com/2002/07/17/local5.htm
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2213638.stm
– http://afpakwar.com/blog/2009/06/20/allegations-link-killing-of-french-engineers-to-defence-deal

[Copyright: Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) – news agency of Germany -2009]

INFORMATION PRESS – News Views Media – www.InformPress.com – USA

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