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Secrecy lifted on Chirac's alleged Japanese bank account

Latest update : 2008-10-22

France has lifted secrecy rules regarding information on an alleged secret bank account held by former French president Jacques Chirac. He has always denied rumours of this count, calling the charges "calumny."


  
France has lifted state secrecy rules protecting intelligence reports covering former president Jacques Chirac's alleged Japanese bank account, Defence Minister Herve Morin said Wednesday.
  
Chirac has always denied rumours that he maintained an account in Tokyo during his presidency, but magistrates investigating the disappearance of a freelance journalist have asked for files held by the intelligence agency.
  
France's foreign intelligence service, the DGSE, reportedly investigated the rumoured account, but any findings it made were protected as "defence secrets" until Morin was asked to lift the veil to allow the probe to continue.
  
"It's done. I signed the papers yesterday," he said, in an interview with LCI television. "As always, there are more fantasies than reality in all this."
  
On October 18 a French legal commission charged with overseeing official secrecy rules had advised that 16 of the 17 documents seized from the DGSE's headquarters on June 4 by judge Jean-Francois Redonnet be de-classified.
  
Redonnet is investigating the disappearance of Jean-Pascal Couraud in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia.`
  
Couraud has not been seen since December 15, 1997 when he was investigating alleged transfers of large amounts of cash between a firm in French Polynesia and a bank account in Japan allegedly controlled by Chirac.
  
In May 2006, Chirac denounced the rumours as a "campaign of calumny".
  

Date created : 2008-10-22

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