Rafale deal again embroiled in controversy, France appoints judge to probe 'scam'

New Delhi: A judge has been appointed in France to probe the Rafale deal. The Financial Crime Branch (PNF) of France's Public Prosecution Services said the allegations of corruption and favoritism over the deal will be investigated. The move comes at a time when French NGO Sherpa filed a complaint in this regard and french publication Mediapart published several reports on the matter.

Sherpa had also filed a complaint in 2018, but it was then rejected by the PNF. The Rafale fighter jet deal was worth 7.8 billion euros. On Friday, the French Publications Mediapart reported that a criminal investigation into the case was initiated by a magistrate on June 14. The investigation will also question the functioning of former French President Francois Hollande, who was in office at the time of the signing of the Rafale deal, and the working of current French President Emmanuel Macron, who was then finance minister. Jean-Yves Le Drian, then defense minister and now French foreign minister, may also be questioned over things related to it.

There is no response from Dassault Aviation at present. Earlier, there was a denial from the company that there was a scam in the Indo-French deal. The company maintained that there are many controls by official organizations, no manipulation of the deal with India over 36 Rafales.

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