• France's news in English

American admits cash role in 'Karachi affair'

AFP · 4 Aug 2013, 10:28

Published: 04 Aug 2013 10:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Manafort, who worked for Republican presidential campaigns of the 1980s, also told investigators he met with officials in Balladur's unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign, Liberation newspaper said.

French investigators suspect a web of corruption behind the sale of sub-marines 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 then prime minister Balladur's spokesman at the time, is linked to the affair.

Manafort, who was questioned in the US state of Virginia according to Liberation, admitted being paid by Abdul Rahman al-Assir, one of two intermediaries along with businessman Ziad Takieddine, brought in at the last minute to sign arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Takieddine admitted in June carrying briefcases stuffed with cash from Switzerland destined for the Balladur campaign, while his wife said Manafort was a "close friend" of Assir's.

"In this regard, Ziad told me Paul Manafort was advising the Balladur presidential campaign," she reportedly told police.

Manafort confirmed her statements but said he was spurned by the Balladur campaign, while the former prime minister's associates have repeatedly denied meeting with him.

Story continues below…

Investigators say Manafort, his public relations company or his associates received a total of at least $200,000 between September 1994 and August 1995.

Three more transfers from an account of El-Assir's in Madrid to an account of Manafort's from October 2000 and June 2001 totalling more than $140,000 were later discovered.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available