The Court of Cassation will rule on March 13 on the referral of former Prime Minister Edouard to the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) on suspicion of hidden funding for his 1995 presidential campaign.
Edouard Balladur, 90, had appealed on points of law against his dismissal requested on September 30 for “complicity in the abuse of corporate assets” in the financial aspect of the Karachi case. The former head of government must also answer for the “concealment” of these crimes.
His former Minister of Defense, Francois Leotard, must also be tried for “complicity in the abuse of social property”. He did not appeal.
A controversial institution, the CJR is the only court empowered to try ministers for offenses committed in the exercise of their functions.
Before the plenary session of the Court of Cassation, the lawyers of Edouard Balladur, Mes Patrick Spinosi, and Francois Sureau, on Friday raised several complaints against this dismissal.
According to Mr. Spinosi, the examining magistrates should have divested themselves earlier in favor of the investigating commission of the CJR, competent in government matters. In addition, this committee, which itself rules on requests for a declaration of invalidity concerning the decisions it has taken, lacks, in his view, impartiality.
The lawyer also mentioned the insufficient charges against Edouard Balladur, assuring that there was “no trace of any active complicity” of his client in the file.
Me Sureau defended the prescription of the facts, attacking on several occasions the judgment requesting a trial for “offenses against property thirty years old”.
Opposite, the public prosecutor’s office requested the dismissal of the appeals of Edouard Balladur.
Advocate General Renaud Salomon considered, in particular, that the investigative committee of the CJR was right to retain the complicity in the abuse of corporate property for the former Prime Minister because he was “held to an obligation to act and that the breach of this obligation was likely to facilitate, as an accomplice “, the commission of the offense.
Edouard Balladur and Francois Leotard are suspected of being involved in a possible system of illegal retro commissions on sales of submarines in Pakistan (Agosta) and frigates to Saudi Arabia (Sawari II) when they were in government between 1993 and 1995.
These retro commissions, estimated at several million euros, could have been used in part to finance the campaign of Edouard Balladur.
After a trial in October on the non-governmental financial aspect of this Karachi case, the judgment of the Paris court is due to be delivered on April 22.