Judges to interview Villepin over Clearstream

7th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 7, 2006 (AFP) - Judges looking into the so-called Clearstream dirty tricks scandal confirmed Tuesday that they intend to interview Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who has been accused of using the affair to damage his political rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

PARIS, Nov 7, 2006 (AFP) - Judges looking into the so-called Clearstream dirty tricks scandal confirmed Tuesday that they intend to interview Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who has been accused of using the affair to damage his political rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

Responding by letter to a request from the prosecutor's office, the two judges heading the enquiry said that "an interview does indeed appear useful for elucidating the truth and will take place at the moment we judge to be opportune."

Villepin has said on several occasions that he welcomes the chance to speak to the judges to give his side of events.

Judges Jean-Marie d'Huy and Henri Pons are to interview Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie as a witness on Friday.

Centring on bogus allegations of illegal accounts held at a Luxembourg clearing-bank, the Clearstream affair erupted in April and for a time appeared to threaten Villepin's future as prime minister.

He has vehemently denied that as foreign minister in early 2004 he ordered a secret enquiry into claims that Sarkozy was on a list of names of alleged account-holders at Clearstream.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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