WikiLeaks has released a new secret document from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration that shines a light on the lucrative arms deals with the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The French and Germans were (and still are) selling weapons against their own laws, paying for corrupt actions, that are now being used to engage in a genocidal war against Yemen.
The U.S. has also recently been exposed by the WSJ for sanctioning the Saudi coalition forces while ignoring the civilians deaths in Yemen in order to keep selling bombs for billions of dollars.
The court case is about a dispute over a commission payment made to an Emirati businessman named Abbas Ibrahim Yousef Al-Yousef over a $3.6 billion dollar deal. A sate-owned company in France called GIAT Industries SA (now Nexter Systems) made a weapons deal with the UAE for 388 Leclerc combat tanks, 46 armored vehicles, 2 training tanks, spare parts and ammunition. This was an old deal dating back to 1993, and was supposed to be completed in 2008.
The war on Yemen that began in 2015 by the Saudi coalition relied on this important deal for dish out death. With at least 10,000 civilians killed in "Targeted" bombing on Yemeni infrastructure, tragedies have included school children in a bus. The largely Western-funded war machine has led to 17 million starving people, 5.2 million of them children. Tens of thousands have lost their lives from preventable diseases as a result of this genocide in yemen.
Al-Yousef was supposed to be paid a 6.5% commission on the $3.6 billion dollar deal, totaling almost $235 million. Payments were made from GIAT to Al-Yousef's company Kenoza Consulting & Management Inc. But the payments stopped at around $195 million, with $40 million remaining to be paid. This is what the lawsuit is about, Al-Yousef is trying to get his $40 million that was promised.
GIAT, now Nexter Systems, has lawyers arguing that the payments stopped due to anti-corruption laws enacted in 2000, claiming that Al-Yousef's business, Kenoza, "intended to commit and indeed committed corruption acts." No evidence was produced to back up this claim, however. As such, the ICC Tribunal logically concluded that the huge commission fee the French had originally agreed to pay Al-Yousef was for the use of bribing UAE government officials and other countries that GIAT/Nexter Systems required to secure it's $3.6 billion weapons contract.
"... if the excessive nature of the compensation for the Claimants service must be taken as evidence of a corrupt purpose of the Agency Agreement, this purpose must have been known and intended by both Parties to the agreement"
The ICC Tribunal found no evidence that Al-Yousef was so important to merit such commission fees, and had played no role in the development of the French-German Leclerc tank technology. The Tribunal did find out that Al-Yousef had bribed German officials to waive their law "forbidding German arms sales to the Middle East". The Leclerc tanks were fitted with German engines, and couldn't be legally sold to the UAE as a result of the ban which the corrupt officials circumvented.
Al-Yousef's testimony claimed he lobbied German and French authorities in "a process which involved decision makers at the highest levels, both in France and Germany", but denied remembering their names or meeting them in person. Al-Youssef admitted that had he been on a retainer as a consultant the fee would have been $51-60 million for a month. The ICC Tribunal concluded:
"The remuneration is excessive by the standard which Mr Al Yousef himself set and by any standard which was raised in the arbitration."
This suggests that the French-state owned GIAT knew they were paying him such an exorbitant amount of money in order for him to bribe officials through "corruption acts" and get the deal to go through. The case was dismissed, and Al-YOussef ordered to pay the $550,000 tribunal costs and legal fees of 115,000 Euro for the defendants GIAT/Nexter Systems.
That was years ago, but the same can be ongoing in the big business of arms trades between states. France hasn't stopped supplying the UAE and Saudi coalition with weapons, despite it violating it's own laws, like the International Arms Trade Treaty, ratified in 2014. France's defense is that these weapons are used for "defensive purposes". But that's a sick joke when the evidence shows how the Saudi coalition is using them in an all out war and assault on Yemen, not for defense.
Meanwhile, France, like the U.S., is turning a blind eye and ignoring the death-dealing atrocities carried out against the Yemeni people. The weapons and cash need to keep flowing for these corrupt states to benefit and get what they want. The deaths of thousands don't seem to matter at all.
- New WikiLeaks Release Exposes Corruption in French, German Arms Deals Fueling War on Yemen
- WikiLeaks Release - Dealmaker: Al Yousef
- WikiLeaks Document - 15908-KENOZA-VS-GIAT
Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.
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