Prosecutors are recommending temporary punishment for former French Prime Minister Balladur

Prosecutors in the corruption case against former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur on Tuesday demanded that he be sentenced to one year in prison.

They said the 91-year-old, who was tried on charges that he used kickbacks from the 1990s arms deal to fund a presidential bid, should also pay a fine of 50,000 euros ($ 60,000).

Balladur’s former defense minister Francois Leotard, even at a trial in the Republic’s court, which deals with misconduct cases in the ministry – should be given a two-year term and a fine of 100,000 euros to be “much more involved” in the alleged setback than his previous chef, sa de.

Nor was he in court to hear the prosecutors’ closing statement.

The conservative former prime minister is one of a long list of French politicians being prosecuted for alleged economic crimes, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

Balladur and Leotard, 78, were accused in 2017 of “complicity in misappropriation of corporate assets” over the sale of submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Saudi Arabia between 1993 and 1995.

Investigators discovered an estimated 13 million francs in kickbacks from the deal, now worth about 2.8 million euros after reporting inflation.

Much of the money is suspected to have been funneled to Balladur’s presidential envoy in 1995, while he served as prime minister during the last years of Francois Mitterrand’s presidency, in a case known as the “Karachi affair”.

In particular, the inquiry found a cash injection of 10.25 million francs – mostly in bills of 500 francs – just as Balladur’s law encrypted after his defeat in the first ballot.

Balladur, who also has to answer to an accusation that he hid the crimes, has denied any wrongdoing and said that the 10 million francs came from the sale of T-shirts and other items at campaign meetings.

Allegations surfaced during an investigation into a 2002 bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, which targeted a bus carrying French engineers.

Fifteen people were killed, including 11 engineers working on the submarine contract, and Al-Qaeda’s terrorist network was initially suspected of the attack.

But the focus was later shifted to the submarine agreement when investigators considered whether the bombing may have been revenge for Chirac’s decision to stop commissions for the arms deal shortly after he beat Balladur in the president’s vote.

Leotard is accused of creating an “opaque network” of intermediaries for the contracts signed with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

(AFP)