Friday, December 16, 2011
Former French Minister Was Charge With Graft
A former French minister was charged with graft Thursday over alleged arms deal kickbacks said to have funded the presidential campaign of an ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy, a lawyer said.
A lawyer working for the families of victims of a Pakistani bomb attack thought to be linked to the deal, Olivier Morice, said Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres had been charged with “embezzling public funds”. Earlier, police had confirmed that the suspect had been arrested on Tuesday and held overnight before being questioned by investigating magistrates. He is now free, but expected for face trial for his role in ‘the Karachi affair’.
Vabres, 57, culture minister between 2004 and 2007, was serving as a senior advisor to then defence minister Francois Leotard in 1994 when a suspect contract to sell French submarines to Pakistan was signed.