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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-10-21

Prosecutor in Clearstream case asks for 18-month suspended sentence for Villepin

Several French papers are leading with the final stages of the Clearstream case. The Paris Prosecutor has requested an 18-month suspended sentence for former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, accusing him of having “colluded in manipulation”. The

“Damn, 18 months!” is the headline in this morning’s Libération. The left-leaning paper says that despite the Prosecutor calling for an 18-month suspended sentence for Dominique de Villepin, there has been no conclusive proof during the trial of the former Prime Minister’s guilt.

The right-leaning Le Figaro also leads with the story. It says that Villepin is accused of having colluded “through his silence” in the falsification of Clearstream account listings which embroiled Nicolas Sarkozy in a kickback scandal.
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At the start of the trial, Villepin infamously announced, “I am here because of the will of one man, the President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy.” The former Prime Minister has consistently maintained that the case is politically motivated and has questioned the independence of the prosecution. The Paris Prosecutor is named by the Justice Minister who is named by the President so it could be argued that he is indirectly dependent on Sarkozy in order to keep his job.

If convicted, Villepin’s political aspirations could be dealt a body blow.

Other stories in today’s French papers:

La Dépêche du Midi, Le Parisien, France Soir
Several papers cover the so-called "Kalinka Affair". 27 years after the murder of his daughter, André Bamberski is suspected of having kidnapped and beaten the murderer of his child. The suspected murderer, German doctor Dieter Krombach, was found with his hands and feet bound in the eastern French town of Mulhouse, 300km from his home in Germany. André Bamberski risks 10 years in prison for having taken the law into his own hands.

L’Humanité
The Communist paper is against a move to simplify local government in France.


La Croix
The Vatican is paving the way for dissident Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.


Le Parisien
What do children dream of? A toy company conducted a survey and the results are not too surprising. You guessed it… children dream of toys!


 

By James CREEDON

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