French police have opened an inquiry into whether kickbacks from submarine sales to Pakistan helped fund ex-Prime Minister Edouard Balladur's 1995 presidential campaign, the Paris prosecutor said on Thursday. Balladur, who lost to fellow conservative Jacques Chirac, has denied any involvement in the affair. Current President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was Balladur's campaign manager in 1995, has dismissed the suggestion of any wrongdoing as a fable. The affair is linked to an unsolved bomb attack in 2002 against a coachload of French naval engineers and technicians working on building French submarines for the Pakistani navy, reports Reuters. Eleven French citizens were killed by attack. At first blamed on militants, the attack was later suspected by French investigating magistrates to have been organised by unidentified Pakistani officials as revenge for the non-payment of bribes on the submarine sales. Relatives of the victims filed a complaint against French officials in December alleging corruption, perjury and obstruction of justice. Records show the payment of commissions to Pakistan had been given the official go-ahead in Paris although former defence minister Charles Millon has said that Chirac halted the payments after winning power in 1995. According to the allegations being investigated, some kickbacks may have ended up in the campaign funds of Balladur, who was prime minister between 1993-95. The lawyer for the relatives of the bomb victims, Olivier Morice, said he welcomed the opening of the inquiry. My first reaction is that this investigation is a victory, he said.