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French judges want ex-president Sarkozy to testify in kickbacks probe

Published on Feb 7, 2014 10:47 PM

PARIS (AFP) - Judges investigating alleged kickbacks from French arms sales want ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy to testify before a special court, a lawyer representing civil parties in the case said on Friday.

Mr Olivier Morice told AFP that investigating magistrates in the "Karachi Affair" want the Cour de Justice de la Republique (CJR), which hears cases of ministerial misconduct, to take up the case.

They also want the CJR to summon Mr Sarkozy, who was budget minister in 1994 when the sale took place, as an "assisted witness" - a status that implies he could face charges.

French investigators suspect a web of corruption behind the 1994 sale of submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Saudi Arabia, with illegal funds going to fund former prime minister Edouard Balladur's 1995 presidential bid.

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