France denies paying ransom for reporters' release

22nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 22 (AFP) - France did not pay a ransom to free two journalists held hostage by insurgents in Iraq since August, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told political leaders in Paris the day after the reporters' release.

PARIS, Dec 22 (AFP) - France did not pay a ransom to free two journalists held hostage by insurgents in Iraq since August, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told political leaders in Paris the day after the reporters' release.

Several participants at the meeting said Raffarin assured them money was not paid to secure the freedom of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who had been kidnapped August 20 south of Baghdad.

"He was very clear. We can consider this to be the word of the prime minister," the leader of the French Communist Party in the senate, Nicole Borvo, told media after the meeting.

Raffarin stated there was "neither a demand nor a payment" of a ransom, she said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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