A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Former France PM charged in Sarkozy defamation campaign

[JURIST] French magistrates have filed preliminary charges of "complicity in slanderous denunciations" against former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official profile, in French; JURIST news archive], Villepin's lawyer said Friday. Villepin is accused of ordering a smear campaign against former political rival and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile; JURIST news archive] as well as being responsible for several anonymous letters sent to a magistrate accusing Sarkozy of owning secret bank accounts used to receive kickbacks from a 1991 frigate sale to Taiwan [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Magistrates believe that Villepin knew that Sarkozy did not own the accounts. Villepin, who has denied the allegations [JURIST report], was also questioned by magistrates on Friday.

Investigators searched Villepin's offices [JURIST report] and home in July. In December 2006, Villepin was questioned [JURIST report] by magistrates for more than 17 hours in connection with the smear investigation. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.