Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Malbouffe: understanding junk food à la française

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Lebanon repeals 'rape law', but activists say more is needed to protect women

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US business leaders abandon Trump after Charlottesville

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tensions: How far should freedom of speech be stretched?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Burkina Faso attack: How to restore security in the Sahel region?

Read more

THE DEBATE

India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence: Can the two countries ever reconcile?

Read more

France

Sarkozy slander trial ends, verdict due January 28

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-23

Judges in France's "trial of the decade", in which former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is accused of trying to smear Nicolas Sarkozy before he became French president, will announce their verdict at the end of January.

AFP - The politically-explosive trial of former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin and four others accused of plotting to derail Nicolas Sarkozy's bid for the presidency ended on Friday.
  
Judges will hand down a verdict on January 28 in the case, in which Villepin claims to be the victim of a personal vendetta by the French president.
  
The 55-year-old diplomat is charged with conspiring in 2004 to discredit Sarkozy with falsified documents, while the pair were jostling to succeed president Jacques Chirac.
  
Villepin accused Sarkozy of hanging him "from a butcher's hook" as prosecutors called this week for an 18-month suspended sentence against him -- far less than the maximum five years he was facing.
  
The former prime minister also faces a a 45,000-euro (70,000-dollar) fine for complicity to slander, complicity to use forgeries, dealing in stolen property and breach of trust.
  
The complex case centres on a fake list of account holders from the Clearstream financial clearing house who were said to have received kickbacks from the sale of French warships to Taiwan.
  
Sarkozy's name was on the list and the French leader -- one of 39 civil plaintiffs -- alleges the scandal was fabricated to tarnish him ahead of his party's nomination for the 2007 presidential vote, which he won.
  
A three-year jail sentence, with all but 18 months suspended, was requested for co-defendant Jean-Louis Gergorin, a former aerospace executive who leaked the bogus list to investigators.
  
Prosecutors called for a two-year sentence with six months suspended for Imad Lahoud, the mathematician who admitted to adding Sarkozy's name to the fake list.
  
They asked for the acquittal of journalist Denis Robert and a four-month suspended sentence for accountant Florian Bourges, who played a minor role.
  
The month-long trial yielded mostly contradictory versions of the events and judges will probably be forced to pore over the 40 volumes of written evidence to reach a verdict.

 


  

Date created : 2009-10-23

  • CLEARSTREAM TRIAL

    Court enters final day of proceedings

    Read more

  • CLEARSTREAM TRIAL

    Case was built to please 'pernicious prince' Sarkozy, defence says

    Read more

COMMENT(S)