France charges public transport chief in 'Karachi' probe

12th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

French judges on Thursday charged the head of Paris's public transport system with embezzlement in connection with a former prime minister's failed presidential campaign.

RATP head Pierre Mongin, who served as the chief of staff of former prime minister Edouard Balladur, was charged by magistrates investigating Balladur's 1995 presidential bid.

Mongin did not make any comments to journalists but his lawyer Olivier Baratelli said he could contest the charge, saying the indictment was "unfounded and illegal".

French investigators suspect a web of corruption behind the 1994 sale of submarines from France to Pakistan, with illegal funds going to the Balladur campaign in a scandal known as the "Karachi affair".

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who was a cabinet minister and Balladur's spokesman at the time, has also been linked to the affair.

© 2013 AFP

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