Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Did DCNS Australia CEO Sean Costello's shock resignation have anything to do with Joel Branchut?

by Ganesh Sahathevan 

DCNS Australia's CEO Sean Costello left the company suddenly earlier this year:

THE captain of the French bid for Australia’s $50 billion Future Submarines project has quit less than a year after winning the contract. Adelaide-based Sean Costello resigned on Friday, a move that will likely shock the French and the Australian defence communities.

Intelligence OnLine had this to say about Costello and the winning of the submarine contract:

The contract also appears to be a victory for Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt, the deputy managing director of DCNS who led the negotiations, even though she came under some criticism from the DCNS’ export Department (IOL 745). Locally, DCNS had Sean Costello, who was hired as the head of its local office in order to help win the contract. Costello was the chief-of-staff of the defence minister in the previous government and in the past also advised the minister on naval procurement.

The French company had Costello work with a discreet assistant, Joel Branchut, a former French military attache in Canberra who is used to highly complex financial deals. He was most notably involved in the negotiations in the early 1990S for the Sawari II contract for the supply of three warships to Riyadh (IOL 751).

The Sawari II contracts are said to have involved kickbacks that were then sent back to France to fund election campaigns:

The former defence minister Charles Millon, who served under (former President Jacques) Chirac, was quoted in a French newspaper as having testified to the existence of the kickbacks to French political campaigns. "We had an intimate conviction that there were kickbacks. That was the case of the Agosta and Sawari II contracts," he told the investigating judge Renaud van Ruymbeke in November (2009).

As  this writer has said many times before;L'Affaire Adelaide is fast becoming the latest version of L'Affaire Karachi.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Payne's admission requires investigation of submarine contracts: Is l'affaire Adelaide a repeat of DCNS's l'affaire Karachi?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Australian Defence Minsiter Marise Payne protested on ABC last night that her boyfriend's "attempt" at contacting DCNS in Paris just a week before she announced DCNS as winner of the Competitive Evaluation Process for AUD 50 billion contract for the construction of 12 submarines, was nothing more than what any trade minister would do as part of the Process. 
In Payne's words ::

MARISE PAYNE: No. I understand that that is part of a series of meetings that any Trade Minister from Australia from any state in the Commonwealth, frankly, would endeavour to have with participants in the CEP (Competitive Evaluation Process) process.

As explained in the previous post :
The CEP was basically a fashion parade, so it is hard to see why there was any need for anyone to seek a meeting with any  bidder

unless it was to provide assistance with the bidding process.

Payne has , in effect ,admitted that there has been at least an attempt to do so  by her boyfriend, Stuart Ayres. This would not of course be the first time that DCNS has managed to combine elections, election funding ,and a contract for submarines.
l'affaire Karachi is yet to be resolved.

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