Karachi case: former associate Takieddine found and heard in Switzerland

Abdul Rahman al-Asir, Lebanese former associate of businessman Ziad Takieddine whom an arrest warrant was found in Switzerland and interviewed by investigators there ten days, said Monday 11 June 1 source familiar with the matter, confirming a report by France Info. He was wanted for more than two years in the Karachi affair. Extradition proceedings are underway.

According to several witnesses, MM. El-Asir and Takieddine were imposed in 1994 in extremis in two arms contracts with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia by the firm of Francois Leotard, Minister of Defence.


Mr. El-Asir, which is covered by a French arrest warrant issued in November 2011, was heard on May 30 in Switzerland, where he has not been detained, Has it said a source close the file. In Spain, El-Asir is looking for a case of money laundering. In the French investigation, it appears as the recipient of several companies - Rabor, and Mercor Tesmar - who received commissions on arms contracts for the sale of frigates to Saudi Arabia and for the sale of submarines Pakistan.

Found for several years, the Lebanese-Spanish business man, who had addresses in France, Spain and Switzerland, had accounts in Spain, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, on his behalf or on behalf of offshore structures according to the survey. His Spanish lawyer had indicated in November 2011 the Spanish police that he was domiciled in Gstaad, Switzerland, as a part of the investigation file accessed by AFP.

Investigating judges Renaud Van Ruymbeke and Roger Le Loire performed there several months a search of his Parisian apartment that was empty and felt a time he could have taken refuge in Spain. Judges make a hypothesis commissions - legal until 2000 - generated by two sealed arms contracts in 1994 with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan may have contributed - via kickbacks are they, illegal-finance the presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur.

Ziad Takieddine questioned repeatedly, challenges his former friend and categorically denies the fraud around cash withdrawals in cash in Switzerland, which earned him a double indictment.

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