"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


finally some good news

Although I doubt we'll see many inquiries into all the other shady deals involving French citizens, businesses, and goodness knows who else in Africa:
The son of ex-French President Francois Mitterrand and an ex-government minister have been convicted for their roles in illegal arms sales to Angola.

Jean-Christophe Mitterrand was given a two-year suspended sentence, and ex-Interior Minister Charles Pasqua was jailed for one year by the Paris court.

They were convicted of accepting bribes to facilitate arms deals to Angola in 1993-98, in breach of French law.

Two key figures were sentenced to six years each in their absence.

Prosecutors accused Israeli-Russian billionaire Arkady Gaydamak and French magnate Pierre Falcone of being the key figures in the arms trafficking worth $790m (£485m).

Gaydamak and Falcone were accused of buying tanks, helicopters and artillery pieces and then selling them to Angola during its civil war, through a French-based firm and its subsidiary in Eastern Europe.

Falcone was arrested and imprisoned as soon as the sentence was passed. Gaydamak is living in Russia, Associated Press reported.

Mitterrand, an Africa adviser to his father in the Elysee Palace, was ordered to pay 375,000 euros (£340,000), and Pasqua was fined 100,000 euros, while two years of his prison sentence were suspended.

In total 42 people were on trial.

The scandal was dubbed "Angola-gate" by the French press as details of murky deals involving politicians, businessmen, public figures and weapons were revealed.


Anonymous Ranil Dissanayake said...

why only a suspended sentence? was his only a minor role? I don't know much about this case, but arms dealers out of jail bothers me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 3:29:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

I don't know all the details of the sentence, but, yeah, obviously it's problematic. The larger point, however, is that a prominent French citizen - and son of a former president - actually got in trouble for this stuff. That's new and hopefully a sign of more serious work to come.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 8:08:00 AM

Blogger Leslie said...

This link is only in Portuguese, but here is my rough translation of what the Angolan government is saying:


"The government of Angola has shown itself stupefied by the decision of a Parisian court, which sentenced French citizens who, at an opportune moment, helped guarantee the defense of the State and the democratic process when it was faced with a subversive armed group condemned by the international community and the United Nations in particular."

In sum: they did nothing wrong, we vehemently deny that this was a crime, and hate that this was done in Angola's name.

Oh, the irony!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 10:29:00 PM

Blogger Leslie said...

Found a link in English, same article:


Wednesday, October 28, 2009 10:31:00 PM

Anonymous Ranil Dissanayake said...

TIA - good point. guess we should take our wins where we can.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 1:25:00 AM

Blogger Ron Rollins said...

It's simple. France and Angola have too much business going on with oil. This is a 'deal' at the best.

These guys take a luxury vaction courtesey of the state, and don't have to name Angolan names, and the Angolans don't have to name more French names.

It's all part of the game.


And yes, I have been in Angola, and I do know many people in the oil business there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:57:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...


Friday, October 30, 2009 8:16:00 AM


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