Former France PM may face charges in Sarkozy smear campaign

[JURIST] French magistrates are expected to file preliminary charges against former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official profile, in French] for allegedly ordering a smear campaign against former political rival and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile; BBC profile], Villepin's office said Tuesday. Villepin is accused of being responsible for anonymous letters sent to a magistrate accusing Sarkozy of owning secret bank accounts used to receive kickbacks from a 1991 frigates sale to Taiwan [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Villepin, who has denied the allegations [JURIST report], is expected to be questioned on July 27.

Last Friday, investigators searched Villepin's offices [JURIST report], only a day after searching his home. In December 2006, Villepin was questioned by judges for more than 17 hours in connection with an investigation into the smear. Villepin has denied any wrongdoing. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.