|October 27, 2009 |
Arkadi Gaydamak, a Russian-born Israeli businessman and Pierre Falcone, his French associate, have been sentenced to six-year jail terms for organising the illegal trafficking of weapons to Angola.
Charles Pasqua, France's former interior minister, was handed a one-year jail term on Tuesday for his involvement in the case dubbed "Angola-gate".
Al Jazeera's David Chater, reporting from the court in Paris, said many people do not believe that justice has been carried out.
Falcone, who holds French, Canadian and Angolan citizenship, and was Angola's ambassador to the UN cultural body Unesco, had claimed diplomatic immunity in the case, but this was overturned by the judge.
Prosecutors argued that the shipment was in itself illegal, although the main defendants disputed this, and claim that millions of dollars were skimmed off the contract to pay bribes to senior French and Angolan figures.
Although no Angolan officials have been indicted, court papers allege that Dos Santos and his inner circle received millions of dollars in kickbacks.
Several defendants have also said the trade was carried out in full view of the French authorities, but that the government kept quiet to protect an important source of oil.
Angola pushed to have the trial abandoned as relations soured between the countries.
In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy, the president, visited Angola in an effort to mend ties strained by the case.