French former Euro MP under investigation

3rd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 2 (AFP) - A French former member of the European parliament, Jean-Charles Marchiani, was held in custody here Monday following investigations into alleged corruption, his lawyer said.

PARIS, Aug 2 (AFP) - A French former member of the European parliament, Jean-Charles Marchiani, was held in custody here Monday following investigations into alleged corruption, his lawyer said.

Jacques Tremolet de Villers said Marchiani, a former chief government officer of the Var district in the south of France, had been placed under investigation for alleged misappropriation of funds and for influence-peddling.

He has been under investigation by examining magistrates here over sums of money allegedly obtained in the sale of French Leclerc tanks to Middle East countries in the 1990s, from a contract for a Paris airport baggage handling system, and in connection with the release of hostages in Lebanon in 1988.

An associate of French former interior minister Charles Pasqua, 60 year-old Marchiani was used an emissary by Pasqua during negotiations to obtain the hostages' release.

As he is no longer a European Parliament deputy since elections this June, Marchiani is n longer protected by parliamentary immunity which has hitherto prevented his detention.

Marchiani is also under investigation separately in connection with alleged arms sales to Angola and for alleged misappropriation of funds concerning commissions paid by the oil group Elf in its Nigeria operations.

In a statement after his detention was announced Monday, Marchiani denied all the accusations and said he had always respected the law and morals.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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