France took major action to investigate Rafale deal, appointed judges, arrested many VIPs

– The criminal investigation of the case was initiated by the magistrate on June 14

New Delhi Date. Saturday, July 03, 2021

A judge has been appointed in France to probe the Rafale deal. According to the Financial Crimes Branch (PNF) of France’s Public Prosecution Service, an investigation will be conducted into allegations of corruption and favoritism in the deal.

The French NGO Sherpa had filed a complaint in this matter and the French publication Mediapart had published several reports on the matter. Sherpa had also filed a complaint in the year 2018 but it was rejected by PNF at that time. The deal for the Rafale fighter jet was done for 7.8 billion euros.

According to MediaPart, a magistrate started a criminal investigation into the matter on June 14. The probe will also question the actions of former French President Fran├žois Hollande, who was in office when the Rafale deal was signed, and current French President Emmanuel Macron, who was then finance minister. The then Defense Minister and now French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian may also be questioned.

There was no immediate comment from Dassault Aviation. The company had earlier denied any involvement in the Indo-French deal. According to the company, several restrictions have been imposed by official organizations. 36 Rafale deal with India did not go awry.

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