French police recommend prosecution of former premier

March 1st, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by admin  

Paris, March 1 (Xinhua) French judicial police have formally charged former prime minister Dominique de Villepin for hatching the so-called “Clearstream” scandal as part of a plot to prevent current President Nicolas Sarkozy from rising to the presidency of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). “The goal of the scandal was to prevent Sarkozy from rising to the presidency of the UMP” and as such, the case should therefore be referred to a criminal court for prosecution, the judicial police said in a report published Friday.

Between May and June 2004, several letters and bank statements of some prominent industrial and political personalities, including that of Sarkozy, were sent anonymously to Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke.

The plot was hatched to insinuate that those people had hidden accounts at the Clearstream, a Luxembourg-based financial clearinghouse, through which handsome kickbacks were supposed to be paid.

In June 2007, Jean-Louis Gergorin, former EADS vice-president, who has already admitted that he had written those anonymous letters, said that he was acting at the request of de Villepin.

According to the report that was handed to prosecutors, the judicial police said the former premier “had a short-term goal of preventing Sarkozy from assuming the presidency of the UMP”.

The former prime minister was placed under investigations in connection with the scandal in July 2007 under the charges of “complicity and slander”.

In addition to Gergorin and de Villepin, there are three other people who have been placed under investigation in the case.

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