French intelligence probed L'Oreal leaks: police
France's domestic intelligence service investigated media leaks in the L'Oreal party funding scandal, the head of the national police said Monday.
Frederic Pechenard called it a "legitimate investigation of the origin of leaks" carried out by as part of the domestic intelligence service's "mission to protect the security of institutions."
Pechenard said in a statement that a senior ministeral aide had been identified as the source of the leak, without naming the person.
Le Monde accused the Elysee Palace of trying to stifle reporting of a long-running party finance investigation and of breaking a law protecting whistleblowers by investigating the source of one of its stories.
The Elysee earlier Monday rejected the front-page allegation, saying it had never ordered any investigation of the press leaks.
In July, as part of its coverage of the ongoing investigations into a party funding scandal involving Labour Minister Eric Woerth, Le Monde published leaked details of the police questioning of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt's financial adviser.
© 2010 AFP