Paris police PR 'axed over Sarkozy marriage plot'

7th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 7 (AFP) - A senior officer in the Paris police department who was discharged this week was suspected of running a dirty tricks campaign against the newly-appointed interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a French newspaper reported Tuesday.

PARIS, June 7 (AFP) - A senior officer in the Paris police department who was discharged this week was suspected of running a dirty tricks campaign against the newly-appointed interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a French newspaper reported Tuesday.  

Gerard Dubois worked as press adviser to the Paris police chief for 12 years before being summarily dismissed on Monday on the orders of Sarkozy's cabinet director, officials told AFP.  

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the minister believed Dubois was responsible for spreading rumours about his personal life which appeared in the French press two weeks ago.  

On May 26 - three days before France's referendum on the EU constitution - Sarkozy admitted in a television interview that he was going through marital difficulties with his wife Cecilia. This followed newspaper reports that she had spent a weekend in Jordan with a top advertising executive.  

Sarkozy, the powerful head of the ruling UMP party and a probable contender for the country's presidency, suspects there are highly-placed individuals who want to destroy his reputation before the next election in 2007, Le Parisien reported.  

Anonymous aides of the minister have told reporters that they believe the entourage of President Jacques Chirac is to blame. Sarkozy and Chirac have a long-standing rivalry for leadership of the French right.  

Dubois is known to be close to Philippe Massoni, a former Paris police chief who is now Chirac's security adviser.  

Meanwhile the political intelligence agency General Intelligence has been charged with investigating the source of the emails that circulated with stories of Sarkozy's marriage problems, Le Parisien said.  

It also quoted Sarkozy aides saying that they had drawn up a "black list" of people known to bear the minister ill-will.  

"Nicolas Sarkozy is convinced that dirty investigations have been conducted into him and his family. He has a terror of mobile telephones, which he is sure are being tapped, and only uses encrypted handsets," the paper said.  

Sarkozy's suspicions of a plot against him were first prompted when his name was mentioned in an anonymous letter sent a year ago to a judge investigating illegal practices at a Luxembourg-based bank, according to Le Parisien.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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