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French budget minister probed over Swiss account

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-08

The Paris Prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday that it was opening a preliminary investigation into French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac (pictured) over allegations that he had an undisclosed bank account in Switzerland.

French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac is under investigation for tax fraud following a media report that he had an undeclared UBS account in Geneva which he then moved to Singapore in 2010, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The French prosecutor’s office said that given the sensitivity of the allegations and the time it would take to investigate them, it had no option but to open an inquiry immediately.

“The Paris prosecutor has as a result decided to open a preliminary investigation for tax fraud,” it said in a statement.

Cahuzac, who is in charge of battling tax evasion, has denied the report by the respected Mediapart investigative website.

Soon after the announcement into the inquiry was made, Cahuzac's office said in a statement that he welcomed the decision because it will allow him to prove his innocence.

"This step will, as he has always said, show his complete innocence from the absurd allegations that he has been subjected to," his office said.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-01-08