Sarkozy denies police probed Royal's property

31st January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 31, 2007 (AFP) - French interior minister and right-wing presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday described as slanderous a claim that the police intelligence service investigated the property portfolio of his Socialist rival Segolene Royal.

PARIS, Jan 31, 2007 (AFP) - French interior minister and right-wing presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday described as slanderous a claim that the police intelligence service investigated the property portfolio of his Socialist rival Segolene Royal.

He was reacting to a new report in the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine which said that the head of the General Intelligence (RG) agency gave an order in November last year to look into the assets of Royal and her partner, Socialist Party (PS) leader Francois Hollande.

Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Sarkozy said: "It is not true, it is a slander. These are lies and I formally deny them."

The head of the RG -- an agency which answers to the interior ministry and provides intelligence reports on political developments -- also denied the allegation.

Last week the RG admitted that it had recently updated a file on Bruno Rebelle, a former head of Greenpeace who is now on Royal's campaign team. Sarkozy has denied ordering the update, which he said was a routine matter.

The allegations over the RG have prompted growing calls from the PS for Sarkozy to resign as interior minister, on the grounds that the position gives him an unfair advantage ahead of April's election.

Earlier this month a report circulated on the Internet that Royal and Hollande had made use of a legal ruse to avoid paying wealth tax -- an allegation which prompted the pair to show that they do indeed pay a small amount in tax because of their property holdings.

Sarkozy said that the PS was resorting to false allegations in order to provide a diversion from the difficulties facing Royal's campaign. A new poll to be published Thursday gives Sarkozy a lead of 54 percent to 46 percent over his rival.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Sarkozy

0 Comments To This Article