The fear-mongering of the opposition with regards to the Rafale deal got a new lease of life as news trickled in that a French NGO, Sherpa, headed by one William Bourdon has filed a complaint with the national financial prosecutor’s office in Paris against the Rafale defence deal. The NGO was immediately hailed as an ‘anti-corruption’ crusader, which may as well be. However, William Bourdon hasn’t been an alien to his share of controversies in the past.
Sherpa, headed by William Bourdon has been accused in the past of meddling in the affairs of African countries to get media coverage and funds in exchange. A detailed report was published in International Policy Digest that detailed his exploits in Africa and termed him as a media hungry person.
Reportedly, Bourdon was closely associated with Mohamad Ould Boumataou when he filed corruption charges against the Mauritian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Bouamatou’s cousin and political opponent. Sherpa was also entirely funded by an organization both Bourdon and Bouamtou were board members of in 2015 and 2016. Three relatives of the Mauritian President are set to file a defamation suit against the lawyer-businessman.
Sherpa has also been involved in a number of failed corporate lawsuits. The NGO filed human rights charges against corporate giants like Samsung Electronics and Vinci Construction Company. The latter vigorously denied the allegations that it violated the rights of migrant workers in Qatar helping build the football stadiums for the 2022 World Cup and initiate defamation proceedings against the NGO.
Quite clearly, Sherpa and Bourdon have acquired widespread notoriety for their antics around the world. It does not bode well for political discourse in the country that people are willing to take the claims of anyone as gospel truth without verifying their credentials.