Gérard C., site manager, and Alain Y., project manager for the Agosta 90B submarine contracts, are suspected of having underestimated the threats that weighed on the company’s employees and were also put under examination for involuntary injuries, according to this source confirming information from Le Monde on Friday.

On May 8, 2002, the explosion of a bus transporting employees or subcontractors of the Naval Construction Department (DCN) in Karachi killed fifteen people, including eleven Frenchmen.

– “Unsuitable” protocol –

According to the Parisian anti-terrorism investigating judges, Gérard C. would have put in place an “unsuitable” security protocol, in particular when traveling between the place of residence and the construction site of the submarines, making it possible to easily identify the personnel. and their routes.

His superior Alain Y. would have “validated” this protocol.

Asked, their lawyers did not respond to AFP on Friday evening.

They would thus have “underestimated” the risks of attacks against the employees present on the site, while the security context in the region had been particularly “degraded” since the attacks of September 11, 2001 with the multiplication of attacks targeting foreigners. or foreign interests.

According to Me Marie Dosé, lawyer for civil parties interviewed by AFP, “these indictments were long awaited by (her) clients, who initiated the complaint filed more than 10 years ago against DCN “.

“The glaring breaches of the security obligations incumbent on the employer facilitated the attack: it was time for justice to finally act on this reality.”

During a meeting in April, the three magistrates seized of the judicial information had informed the civil parties of the acts accomplished both on the strictly terrorist aspect and on that of the security breaches at the time.

– Request for declassification –

“We are in the presence of important turning points in this file and this all the more so that following a request for declassification on our part, the investigating magistrates seized Thursday directly the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron in order to finally allow the removal of obstacles to the manifestation of the truth”, reacted to AFP Me Olivier Morice, who defends six families of victims.

“Families are waiting 20 years after this tragedy for the Head of State to respond favorably to the judges’ request” to have access to documents hitherto classified as defense secrets, he added.

After two decades, this attack has not been elucidated and two theses clash.

The attack seems to have been carefully prepared with sophisticated means. And the track of Al-Qaeda, which did not claim responsibility for the attack but approved it, was essential for the first anti-terrorist magistrate seized of the facts, Jean-Louis Bruguière.

From 2009, the investigation of his successor Marc Trevidic focused on the hypothesis of Pakistani reprisals after the stoppage of commission payments within the framework of an arms contract.

The financial aspect of this case has already been judged.

Six people were sentenced in June 2020 in Paris to terms ranging from two to five years in prison for having participated in a system of secret commissions on arms contracts with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan which allegedly contributed to finance the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur in 1995. The appeal trial is due to take place in 2023.

Tried for their part before the Court of Justice of the Republic, the former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur was released in March 2021 while his former Minister of Defense, François Léotard, was sentenced to two years in prison suspended.