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Facing trial. Gaydamak
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Report: France to proceed with arms-smuggling case against Gaydamak
Contrary to previous reports, Russian-Israeli business mogul and his French partner to go on trial October 6 for alleged illegal weapons smuggling to Angola

France’s attorney general has decided to proceed with the case against Russian-Israeli business mogul Arcadi Gaydamak and French arms dealer Pierre Falcone, according to reports published Thursday.

  

The two are accused of illegal arms smuggling after allegedly selling weapons to the Angolan president between the years 1993-2000, during the civil war in the African country. Their trial is expected to begin on October 6.

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Reports regarding the continuation of the legal proceedings came contrary to previous reports in which the French defense minister ordered to close the file against the two.

 

In March 2007 France filed a grave indictment against 42 people suspected of involvement in the sale of arms to Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos during the country's 27-year civil war – these included Gaydamak, Falcone, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of late French President Francois Mitterrand, who served as counselor on African affairs from 1986-92 under his father, and former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.

 

The indictment, which has now been called into doubt, estimated Falcone and Gaydamak's profit from the deal reached $791 million, and international arrest warrants were issued against them.

 

According to the indictment, the weaponry sales included tanks, helicopters, six warships, land mines and large amounts of ammunition.

 

Jonathan Weber contributed to the report 

 

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