Skip to comments.FRENCH ELECTION UPDATE :: Dominique de Villepin likely to face conspiracy charges
Posted on 07/06/2007 1:13:08 AM PDT by Cincinna
Police searched the home of Dominique de Villepin, the former French Prime Minister, yesterday as judges appeared close to charging him with conspiring to implicate Nicolas Sarkozy, now the President, in a corruption scandal. Criminal charges are thought likely after examining judges unearthed new evidence that appears to put Mr de Villepin, 56, close to the heart of the so-called Clearstream affair.
The scandal, under investigation since 2005, involves forged bank records that suggested falsely that Mr Sarkozy and other senior figures had received big bribes in the sale of French warships to Taiwan.
Mr de Villepin was serving as Foreign and then Interior Minister and Mr Sarkozy, his rival for the future presidency, was Finance, then Interior Minister.
The affair poisoned the already strained relations between Mr de Villepin, the protégé of Mr Chirac, and the Presidents mutinous subordinate, who was intent on succeeding him.
Investigating judges and police arrived yesterday afternoon at the expensive Paris apartment building where Mr de Villepin lives.
They were acting on material that was extracted last week from erased data on an intelligence officers computer. This added to evidence that Mr Chirac had been briefed on the affair at the time, according to leaked judicial transcripts. Two weeks ago the former President refused to obey a judicial summons for questioning over the case. His lawyers argued that he was immune from inquiries into any acts undertaken during his presidency.
Mr de Villepin, a career civil servant who lost his government post after Mr Sarkozys election in May, insisted that he had no role in circulating the false bank data. In response to the false allegations of recent days . . . Dominique de Villepin repeats that he never sought to investigate nor compromise any political figure in the Clearstream affair, his lawyers said.
The former Prime Minister also repeated earlier denials that he had discussed Mr Sarkozys apparent implication with Mr Chirac at the time.
However, Mr de Villepin will now seek to be an assisted witness, a status that enables suspects to be accompanied by their lawyers at judicial interviews, they said.
The new evidence, leaked in detail to the press, consists of computer files written in mid2004 by General Philippe Rondot, an intelligence officer. In them he reported on contacts at the time with Jean-Louis Gergorin, a vice-president of the EADS aerospace and defence group. Mr Gergorin has since admitted sending the Clearstream bank lists anonymously to an investigating judge in 2004.
In a note dated May 26, General Rondot reports that Mr Gergorin had told him that he had received instructions from Dominique de Villepin and had decided to speak to the judge. It continues: In an interview between Jean-Louis Gergorin and Dominique de Villepin on May 19, the latter was apparently jubilant but also concerned not to have his name appear in the affair. General Rondot confirmed to judges on Wednesday that the notes were an accurate record of his contacts, judicial sources said.
Mr Gergorin, who lost his EADS job, has been charged with conspiracy, along with Imad Lahoud, a computer expert, who is suspected of producing the false records. The judges are to cross-examine Mr Gergorin and Mr Lahoud over the Rondot notes, which were retrieved from a hard drive by technicians, despite their having been erased.
The case is unlikely to reach any conclusion for at least a year. Mr Sarkozy is said, however, to be determined to have it pursued to the end.
Mr de Villepin, who is a part-time historian, has entitled his new book on Napoleon regarded as an oblique attack on Mr Sarkozys Napoleonic ambitions The Dark Sun of Power.
Sissy first name. lol
God is starting to settle some scores. Justice wheels turn slowly, as scooter found out.
Frenchy got caught in a snare of his own making.
LOL how shocking!
I have taken a one-year No French Bashing Pledge, and I still have two months to go... So my condemnation of Dominique de Villepin (who is a man) has nothing to do with the fact that he is French, and everything to do with the fact that he is a weasel and a crook.
There are weasels and crooks in every society, though. Some even make it to high office...
Oops! Make that ten months to go today! No French Bashing until May 6, 2008...
hehehe...pssst...I don’t think you’re gunna make it.
If Jorge had had the stones to go after the clintons like this when he got in the way Sarkozy is now doing - we’d be living in a very different world by now.
Instead Jorge took the exact opposite tack and pretended like they were just ordinary “public servants”. That’s worked out real well for him - not.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Chirac to face corruption inquiry
Jacques Chirac has denied any wrongdoing
French ex-President Jacques Chirac is to face questioning over corruption allegations relating to his 18-year tenure as Paris mayor, his lawyer says.
Jean Veil said Mr Chirac would be questioned by judges as an assisted witness, meaning he could face criminal charges over a fake jobs scandal.
Mr Chirac is also refusing to answer questions over the death of a French judge in Djibouti in 1995.
Investigators into the death of Judge Bernard Borrel were barred from searching Mr Chirac’s Elysee Palace office in May.
Last week, Mr Chirac said he would not testify over the Clearstream case because he was still protected by presidential immunity.
(it’s not over until the fat lady sings! GO SARKOZY!)
This is also the ‘bunch’ who were bribing 3rd world countries to vote against the US in the UN.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.....
What potential penalty/sentence does he face?
One can always depend on the french to be undependable.
Yep. That whole "New Tone" thing was just a disaster. President Bush reached out to the Democrats, and they took advantage. He should have just come on strong, right out of the box.
Oh well, that's one for the Live and Learn file...
Chirac accused of ‘treason’ over Djibouti judge death
The Tocqueville Connection ^ | 06/13/2007
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