London, Nov 23 (ANI): French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently lashed out at a journalist, calling him a "paedophile" in a furious response to being quizzed over "Karachigate", the allegation of political corruption and murder that is threatening to torpedo his bid for re-election in 2012.
Sarkozy is among a string of top French politicians embroiled in the affair allegedly involving kickbacks from the sale of French submarines in 1994.
French magistrates are investigating claims that the cancellation of commissions to Pakistani middlemen led to a revenge bomb attack on a bus in Karachi in May 2002 in which 11 French engineers and four Pakistanis died.
The engineers were to supervise the assembly of the submarines.
The judges suspect that part of the "commissions" were kicked back to fund the presidential campaign of the then French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur. The official spokesman for Balladur's unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign was Sarkozy, then the budget minister, reports the Telegraph.
When pointedly quizzed about his alleged role in the affair during a Nato summit in Lisbon, Sarkozy first lashed out at journalists, saying: "You talk rubbish, you verify nothing."
According to l'Express magazine, he then launched into a tirade against the reporter, saying: "You are a paedophile, I'm deeply convinced; I've seen the secret services but I won't tell you which ones. I've seen someone but I won't tell you who and it was oral. But I'm deeply convinced that you're a paedophile!" (ANI)