New material implicates former PM in Clearstream scandal

5th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 4, 2007 (AFP) - Material found on the computer of one of the main figures in the Clearstream affair implicates former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin, sources close to the case said Wednesday.

PARIS, July 4, 2007 (AFP) - Material found on the computer of one of the main figures in the Clearstream affair implicates former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin, sources close to the case said Wednesday.

The scandal centred on bogus allegations which surfaced in 2004 that several top French politicians and businessmen, including current President Nicolas Sarkozy, laundered bribes at banks registered at Luxembourg-based Clearstream.

The material suggests that Villepin set up a secret meeting in 2004 between diplomat and businessman Jean-Louis Gergorin and investigating magistrate Renaud van Ruymbeke.

Following the meeting Gergorin "anonymously" sent the bogus list of people involved to the judge.

According to sources close to the case, the material suggests that the idea to send the phoney list of names came from the former prime minister.

The information was found on the portable computer of French senior intelligence official, general Philippe Rondot.

Investigating magistrates questioned Rondot as a witness for nearly 10 hours Wednesday on the contents of his computer.

In 2004, Villepin asked Rondot to conduct a secret enquiry into the Clearstream names.

The people whose names figured on the lists, including Sarkozy, were falsely alleged to have received illegal commissions from the sale of French warships to Taiwan in 1991.

Sarkozy said he was the victim of a dirty tricks campaign to block his eventually successful bid for the presidency.

Former president Jacques Chirac has so far refused to testify and has categorically denied any wrongdoing.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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