French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces arms deal claims

President Nicolas Sarkozy on 1 June 2010 President Sarkozy has dismissed allegations of illegal party funding

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French opposition MPs have called on President Nicolas Sarkozy to give details of any links to suspected commissions on arms deals allegedly used to fund political campaigns.

The calls follow a report from Luxembourg police alleging Mr Sarkozy approved the creation of firms which received money from the commissions.

They allegedly financed then PM Edouard Balladur's 1995 presidential campaign.

The two men have repeatedly dismissed allegations of illegal party funding.

French news website Mediapart quoted the Luxembourg police report as saying: "The agreements on the creation of the two companies appear to have come directly from Prime Minister Balladur and Finance [Budget] Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

"Part of the funds that passed through Luxembourg [companies] came back to France to finance political campaigns" in 1995, added the police report, according to Mediapart.

Government spokesman Luc Chatel dismissed the recurring allegations as "a serial fairytale" and said the government was co-operating with an investigation by a French judge.

One of the MPs who asked for information, Socialist Party deputy leader Harlem Desir, called for French judges to obtain the Luxembourg police documents.

"The officials at the time, namely Edouard Balladur and Nicolas Sarkozy, the budget minister who was in charge of the sale and the commissions, must be asked to provide all the information that the French are waiting for," Mr Desir said.

Since 2008, French investigators have been looking at allegations that the cancellation of commissions for one of the arms deals prompted an attack that killed 11 French naval engineers in Pakistan in 2002.

In May 2002, a bomb in Karachi killed the engineers who were in Pakistan to build the submarines.

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