Frenc president sues former spy chief for slander
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is suing the former head of France's domestic spy service RG for slander, French media reported on Friday.
In the lawsuit Sarkozy's attorney, Thierry Herzog, charged that RG head Yves Bertrand allowed "others to receive information related to (Sarkozy's) private life, thereby causing him injury, ... and fraudulently distorted the truth with an irrefutable wish to harm."
The complaint concerns excerpts from Bertrand's private notebooks dating from his time as RG chief, which were published October 9 in the weekly Le Point, reported dpa.
One of those excerpts suggests that, when he was interior minister, Sarkozy had received bribes in an arms-smuggling affair currently being tried in Paris.
One excerpt is dated June 2002, and reads, "Tassez received money from Falcone for Sarko, from Jean-Cristophe and African heads of state."
Another excerpt, from July 2, 2003, reads, "Sarko 150,000 (French) francs in cash in his office."
The excerpt refers to French businessman Pierre Falcone, who is currently being tried for allegedly setting up, with Russian-Israeli billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak, a vast arms-trafficking network with the Angolan regime in the 1990s.
Also referred to in the excerpt are two of Falcone's co-defendants in the so-called Angolagate affair, Jean-Cristophe Mitterand, son of the former French president Francois Mitterand, and businessman Jean- Noel Tassez.
Falcone is suspected of having bribed a number of French politicians in the affair.
Other excerpts from Bertrand's notebooks published in Le Point refer to an alleged affair Sarkozy had with the wife of a lawmaker and suggest that builders who had constructed a house for him were paid "off the books," so that no taxes would have to be paid.
In an interview published October 10 in the daily Le Parisien, Bertrand said that at least 80 per cent of the information he received consisted of unverified rumours and gossip that were rarely exploited officially.