Prosecutor in Clearstream case asks for 18-month suspended sentence for Villepin
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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.
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
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The Communist paper is against a move to simplify local government in France.
The Vatican is paving the way for dissident Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.
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