Top EADS executive suspended over Clearstream

10th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 10, 2006 (AFP) - The vice-president of the European aerospace and defence company EADS, Jean-Louis Gergorin, was Wednesday suspended from his job amid reports that he was the central figure in a politico-legal scandal threatening the French government.

PARIS, May 10, 2006 (AFP) - The vice-president of the European aerospace and defence company EADS, Jean-Louis Gergorin, was Wednesday suspended from his job amid reports that he was the central figure in a politico-legal scandal threatening the French government.

Gergorin, 60, is suspected of having played the key role in what has become known as the Clearstream affair -- an imbroglio based on bogus money-laundering charges that stemmed from the sale of warships to Taiwan.

"So as to better concentrate on his defence, Jean-Louis Gergorin has asked to be relieved immediately of his operational functions as head of strategic coordination in the EADS group," the company said in a statement.

"EADS has accepted his request."

Executives in the company said Gergorin was still employed by EADS. They stressed the development was "temporary" and that Gergorin was not under any official criminal investigation at this point.

Various newspapers have accused Gergorin of being a mysterious figure who supplied a list of names of French politicians and businessman and secret bank accounts they were supposed to have held that were linked to Clearstream, a Luxembourg financial firm.

That list -- which later turned out to be false -- notably included Nicolas Sarkozy, France's interior minister and leader of the ruling UMP party who has ambitions of succeeding President Jacques Chirac in elections next year.

Gergorin was present at a January 2004 meeting in which Chirac's protege and chosen heir, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, at the time foreign minister, ordered an investigation into the Clearstream allegations.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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