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France

Judge delivers Clearstream verdicts, De Villepin acquitted

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-01-28

The judge in the Clearstream trial delivered verdicts Thursday, clearing the former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin of using unfair smear tactics to wreck long-time rival Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential bid.

Live from the Paris Criminal Court, FRANCE 24 reporter Stefan Devries follows the judge’s verdict at the end of the Clearstream trial.

The former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin is accused of complicity in making false accusations in a deliberate attempt to smear arch-rival Nicolas Sarkozy before his bid to become French president.

12.25: De Villepin is acquitted.

12.07 pm: Judge says there is no proof that De Villepin acted in bad faith or tried to smear Nicolas Sarkozy before his presidential bid.

11.43 am: Imad Lahoud, a computer expert and former executive at aerospace group EADS, accused of doctoring the Clearstream list to add names, including Nicolas Sarkozy's, after receiving it from Florian Bourges is found guilty of defamation.

11.30 am: Jean-Louis Gergorin, a former senior executive at the multinational aerospace group EADS, is found guilty of deliberately leaking the false Clearstream lists to legal authorities.

11.05 am: Denis Robert, the journalist who broke the Clearstream story, is cleared of breach of trust.

11 am: Florian Bourges, the accountant who gave the Clearstream data to journalist Denis Robert, is found guilty of breach of trust.

10.48 am: The judge rules that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s status as a civil plaintiff in the trial is constitutional.

Date created : 2010-01-28

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