Clearstream investigation hones in on EADS

12th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 12, 2006 (AFP) - Two judges looking into a smear campaign that has rocked the French government on Friday searched the home of a computer expert at the European aerospace company EADS.

PARIS, May 12, 2006 (AFP) - Two judges looking into a smear campaign that has rocked the French government on Friday searched the home of a computer expert at the European aerospace company EADS.

Imad Lahoud, who has also worked for the French intelligence services, is suspected of having had access to account lists at the Luxembourg clearing bank Clearstream.

He is also a colleague of Jean-Louis Gergorin, the executive vice-president of EADS believed to be the mystery informant who triggered the so-called Clearstream affair two years ago.

Gergorin, who this week took leave of absence from EADS, is believed to have possessed a list of names — including that of Interior Minister and ruling party chief Nicolas Sarkozy — who ran secret foreign bank accounts via Clearstream.

The names were handed in mid-2004 to judge Renaud van Ruymbeke who was looking into allegations of illegal commissions paid in the sale of French warships to Taiwan. He concluded the list was fake.

The affair has destabilised the government of President Jacques Chirac because of allegations that he and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin set up a secret enquiry of their own to see if the charges against Sarkozy were true.

Sarkozy — a front-runner in next year's presidential election — believes he was the victim of a bid to blacken his name.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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