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July 06, 2007

Former French FM/Bond Villain Dominique De Villepin May Face Conspiracy Charges For Plot To Forge Evidence Against Rival Sarkozy

How you say, total douchebag, yes?

Police searched the home of Dominique de Villepin, the former French Prime Minister, yesterday as judges appeared close to charging him with conspiring to implicate Nicolas Sarkozy, now the President, in a corruption scandal. Criminal charges are thought likely after examining judges unearthed new evidence that appears to put Mr de Villepin, 56, close to the heart of the so-called Clearstream affair.

The scandal, under investigation since 2005, involves forged bank records that suggested falsely that Mr Sarkozy and other senior figures had received big bribes in the sale of French warships to Taiwan.

Mr de Villepin was serving as Foreign and then Interior Minister and Mr Sarkozy, his rival for the future presidency, was Finance, then Interior Minister.

...

Investigating judges and police arrived yesterday afternoon at the expensive Paris apartment building where Mr de Villepin lives.

They were acting on material that was extracted last week from erased data on an intelligence officer’s computer. This added to evidence that Mr Chirac had been briefed on the affair at the time, according to leaked judicial transcripts. Two weeks ago the former President refused to obey a judicial summons for questioning over the case. His lawyers argued that he was immune from inquiries into any acts undertaken during his presidency.

,,,

The former Prime Minister also repeated earlier denials that he had discussed Mr Sarkozy’s apparent implication with Mr Chirac at the time.

However, Mr de Villepin will now seek to be an “assisted witness”, a status that enables suspects to be accompanied by their lawyers at judicial interviews, they said.


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posted by Ace at 03:59 PM

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