In October, de Villepin denied breaking the law and claimed that Sarkozy ordered the prosecution [JURIST report] for personal and political reasons. De Villepin and his alleged co-conspirators went on trial [JURIST report] last September. In November 2008, de Villepin was ordered to stand trial [JURIST report] for his connection with the long-running political scandal known as the Clearstream Affair [BBC backgrounder]. De Villepin's political image was tainted by the allegations as well as by his advance of an unpopular youth labor law [JURIST news archive] during his time as prime minister.
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