France prosecutors to appeal acquittal of former PM for Sarkozy defamation

[JURIST] A French public prosecutor on Friday announced plans to appeal the acquittal [JURIST report] of former prime minister Dominique de Villepin [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], which cleared him of all charges for his role in an alleged plot to defame several businessmen, including current President Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile, in French; JURIST news archive]. The appeal comes shortly after Sarkozy announced that he would not appeal [NYT report] the verdict. According to French Media Advisor Franck Louvrier, prosecutors were not given instructions from the president, and Sarkozy will not be a civil party to the appeal [Le Monde report, in French].

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.

 

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.