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Latest update : 2008-10-17

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has filed a suit against a former head of intelligence services after details about his private life appeared in a news magazine, his lawyer said.

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy filed suit Thursday against a former head of police intelligence after allegations about his private life appeared in a news magazine, his lawyer said.

Excerpts of the private notebooks of Yves Bertrand, who was head of the General Intelligence (RG) service, were published this month in Le Point in a report dubbed "a journey under the skirts of the Republic".

The notebooks cover the period from 1998 to 2003 when Sarkozy was interior minister, and include allegations about the private lives of several leading politicians.

Sarkozy is linked to the wife of a member of parliament now serving as a government minister, according to Le Point.

Le Point's report said the diaries include potentially explosive claims about adultery, wife-swapping, drug abuse and north African sex tourism allegedly indulged in by senior French political figures.

Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog said the suit accuses Bertrand of malicious falsehood, forgery and invasion of privacy.

The notebooks were seized during a raid carried out as part of an inquiry into an alleged smear campaign targeting Sarkozy when interior minister. They were later leaked to Le Point.

Sarkozy abolished the RG political police this year and merged its staff and intelligence files with the former DST domestic security service to form a new FBI-style national police agency.

Date created : 2008-10-17