Saturday, June 20, 2009

Frenchmen killed in Karachi ‘over submarine money’:


CHERBOURG: A probe into the 2002 killing of 11 French engineers in Pakistan is focusing on France’s failure to pay a commission for the sale of submarines to Pakistan; a lawyer for the victims’ families was quoted as saying, claim a report of a foreign news agency.
The lawyer, Olivier Morice, said former president Jacques Chirac and former premier Edouard Balladur had been mentioned in the decision to halt the payments.
Morice spoke after two French anti-terrorist investigating magistrates had met with families of the engineers killed in the attack on May 8, 2002 in Karachi. A car packed with explosives was driven into a minibus carrying the Frenchmen, all engineers working for a French state firm, DCN, which was building submarines for Pakistan. The 11 engineers and three Pakistanis were killed.
Investigators had been looking into an Al-Qaeda link to the attack.
But Morice told media: ‘The Al-Qaeda track has been totally abandoned. The motive for the attack appears linked to the non-payment of commissions.’
Morice said the payments were stopped when Chirac became president in 1995 because he wanted to stop part of the money financing the campaign of Balladur, who was his political rival on the French right at the time.
Magali Drouet, a daughter of one of the men killed, quoted one of the anti-terrorist judges, Marc Trevidic, as telling the families that this theory was ‘cruelly logical’.
She added that according to this scenario, the attack was carried out because the special payments were not made by France to Pakistani government officials.
High-ranking politicians would likely be called in to testify, said Morice. Details of the payments emerged in 2008 as part of an investigation into French arms sales.
Police seized documents from the French firm, now known as DCNS, which discussed the companies used to pay fees in connection with arms sales.
One unsigned document spoke of Pakistan intelligence services using militants.-

1 comment:

adil said...

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