Dassault CEO rejects Rahul accusations on Rafale deal

Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Trappier today has rubbished allegations made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi that the former lied about the details of the Dassault- Reliance Joint Venture (JV) for offset contracts in the Rafale Jet deal.

In an interview to a news agency, he asserted that “I don’t lie. The truth I declared before and the statements I made are true. I don’t have a reputation of lying. In my position as CEO, you don’t lie”.

He has reiterated that his company had chosen Reliance as an offset partner, and denied allegations of corruption in the Rafale jet deal with India saying it was a “clean deal”. He added that the price in the contract for 36 aircraft was brought down by 9 per cent after government-to-government negotiations.

“We chose (Anil) Ambani by ourselves. We are also looking at other partners. We already have 30 partners other than Reliance,” Trappier said. Referring to Rahul’s allegation that  Dassault paid Rs 284 crore in alleged “kickbacks” to a Reliance firm to purchase land near an airfield in Nagpur, he deplored that  “I am sad to hear that. We have had a long experience with the Congress.”

On the price negotiated in the deal, he said, “Price of 36 was exactly the same when you compare with 18 flyaway. 36 is the double of 18. So as far as I was concerned, it should have been double the price. But because it was government to government, there was negotiation, I had to decrease price by 9 per cent.”

Trappier said a Rs 800 crore joint venture between Dassault and Reliance was created last year, as part of the companies’ 2012 agreement. “We are not putting the money in Reliance. The money is going into the JV (Dassault-Reliance). Shares in the JV are 49% for Dassault and 51% for Reliance,” he added.

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