French tycoon Dassault in custody for 'vote-buying'
Dassault, the billionaire manufacturer of fighter jets, was in custody on February 19, 2014 for alleged vote buying, a judicial source said. AFP PhotoFrench industrialist and senator Serge Dassault, the billionaire manufacturer of fighter jets, was in custody Wednesday for alleged vote-buying in his former fiefdom south of Paris.
The 88-year-old is suspected of buying votes in Corbeil-Essonnes, where he was mayor from 1995 to 2009.
Dassault is ranked by Forbes magazine as the fourth richest man in France and the 69th richest in the world, with an estimated fortune of 13 billion euros ($18 billion).
French judges suspect him of operating an extensive system of vote-buying which influenced the outcome of three mayoral elections in the Paris-area suburb of Corbeil in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Those votes were won either by Dassault or his successor and associate Jean-Pierre Bechter.
Formal charges against Dassault now look inevitable, experts say.
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