India’s fighter jet deal faces new controversy

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New Delhi

A multibillion-dollar deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets from France has stirred new controversy in India after a French media report claimed it involved €1 million ($1.2m) to a “middleman” in India.

While the main opposition Indian National Congress Party demanded a thorough inquiry into the deal, defence experts maintain that the latest controversy should not hamper the delivery of the remaining jets.

The French media portal Mediapart reported Sunday that aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation paid €1 million to an Indian company owned by a “middleman” in connection with the deal.

The report said the French anti-corruption agency Agence Française Anticorruption “discovered this separate arrangement during a routine audit of Dassault.”—Anadolu Agency