De Villepin cleared in Clearstream caseRNW, 28 January 2010
A French court has ruled there is no proof that former prime minister Dominique de Villepin was involved in a smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Mr De Villepin was accused of trying to discredit Mr Sarkozy ahead of the 2007 presidential elections in the hope of replacing him as a candidate in the elections. The former prime minister allegedly failed to take action when forged documents emerged in which Mr Sarkozy was named as one of a number of politicians who reportedly accepted bribes during negotiations about the sale of French frigates to Taiwan. The bribes were allegedly deposited in accounts with the Clearstream Bank in Luxembourg. However, the court ruled there was insufficient evidence that Mr De Villepin knew the documents were forged and therefore decided not to take action.
Photo: French President Nicolas Sarkozy (EPA)