PARIS --- Former French President Francois Hollande was questioned by police in France earlier this month as a witness in a Brazilian corruption investigation into a deal to buy combat jets, a source close to the politician said.
Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy refused to be questioned as part of the same probe, according to France’s Canard Enchaine newspaper, which first reported on Tuesday that the ex-presidents had been asked to testify in the affair.
“The meeting did indeed take place,” the source close to Hollande said of the Socialist’s exchange with police on July 4.
Sarkozy’s aides did not respond to a request for comment.
The case centers on Brazil’s purchase of Gripen fighter jets from Sweden’s Saab in 2013, when Dilma Rousseff was in power. The Swedish plane beat Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet and France’s Rafale, produced by Dassault Aviation.
Brazilian prosecutors are investigating whether Roussef’s predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used his influence over his hand-picked successor in government to help Saab win the tender. (end of excerpt)
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