Cecilia Sarkozy to stay clear of inquiry into Libya

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 23, 2007 (AFP) - The French presidency on Thursday rebuffed calls for First Lady Cecilia Sarkozy to testify before a parliamentary inquiry on her role in securing the release of Bulgarian nurses from Libya.

PARIS, Aug 23, 2007 (AFP) - The French presidency on Thursday rebuffed calls for First Lady Cecilia Sarkozy to testify before a parliamentary inquiry on her role in securing the release of Bulgarian nurses from Libya.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife served as a special envoy to Libya, traveling twice to Tripoli for talks that led to the release last month of the nurses after eight years in jail on charges of infecting children with AIDS.

"It would be unconstitutional for the president to testify before the parliamentary commission of inquiry as it would violate the principle of separation of powers," presidential spokesman David Martinon said.

"By extension, Mrs Sarkozy in her capacity as his personal envoy falls into the same category," he said.

The Socialist opposition had demanded that Cecilia appear before the future commission of inquiry that is to look into a possible trade-off between the medics' release and a French-Libyan arms deal struck the same week.

Martinon said that Sarkozy's top adviser, Claude Gueant, who accompanied Cecilia on the trip would be able to testify, adding that he was willing "to shed light on the story of this mission which was a smashing success."

Sarkozy paid a brief visit to Libya last month, a day after Tripoli's release of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian-born doctor, but he denied the case had anything to do with France entering into accords with Libya.

AFP

Subject: French news

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