May 18, 2022

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The French foreign minister summoned by the Malian judiciary (official)

The French foreign minister summoned by the Malian judiciary (official)

# Financial On Wednesday, AFP learned from a court in Bamako, in the context of highly strained bilateral relations, that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is summoned by financial justice in an investigation for “damage to public property and other crimes”.

An investigative judge from the Bamako Economic and Financial Center Invitation to Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian to appear in his office on Monday 20 June 2022 in a matter concerning him.“,” Defines the subpoena that has been documented to AFP by Financial Justice.

The Quai d’Orsay told AFP in the evening that it had not been informed. We have not received any notification or information of any kind through the appropriate channels»confirmed.

A Malian judicial source told AFP that this investigation came after a complaint from a platform of a number of civil society associations in Mali called “Maleko” (“Mali Case”). It is the story of the award of a contract to manufacture financial passports to a French company (the son of Le Drian is said to be associated with it)»added this judicial source.

According to an official document seen by AFP, the case dates back to 2015, when Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was president of Mali. At that time, the French company – Oberthur Technologie – had a ten-year market for the manufacture of financial biometric passports.

>>> Read also: France-Mali: Contrary to what happened over the “Wagner affair”, Macron raises his voice and the junta advances its pawns

Le Drian was the Minister of Defense at the time. Did he support the case to defend a French company or its interests? This is basically what financial justice seeks to understand. Here we are in the investigation stage.»Another financial judicial source told AFP.

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For its part, the Maliko Association (close to the currently ruling junta in Mali), which filed a complaint and filed a civil case, made the document available to AFP. The procedures and rules established by the financial legislation, in particular the Decree (…) on the Public Procurement Law, were violated when the aforementioned contract was awarded»says the document accompanying the complaint.

Bilateral tensions

Commenting on the case, a Mali judge, on her part, told AFP that This summons» I did not have No legal basis».

Mali has been the scene since 2012 of the operations of jihadist groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, as well as acts of violence of all kinds perpetrated by bandits and self-defense militias.

The violence, which began in the north in 2012, has spread to the center, and then to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger. It has caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and military personnel as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced people, despite the deployment of UN, French and African forces.

>>> Read also: Mali: The government is violating defense agreements with France

The Malian Military Council announced in early May the termination of the 2014 cooperation agreement with France, as well as the 2013 and 2020 agreements that define the legal framework for the presence of the anti-jihadist force Barkhane and the European special forces group Takoba, initiated by France. .

Relations further deteriorate with Mali’s asylum in Russia. France and its allies accuse the military council of securing the services of the Russian private security company Wagner, with controversial measures, which Bamako objects to.

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In a somewhat unprecedented way, the French General Staff recently decided to broadcast videos taken by a drone near the Josie base (center), which France left in April, showing, according to him, the Wagner paramilitary forces in the process of burying the bodies in order. To accuse France of war crimes.

Later, Paris remarkably reconfirmed Vigilance against any attempt to manipulate information».