Former French PM cleared over smear plot

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was cleared on Thursday of plotting a smear campaign against Sarkozy.

Former French PM cleared over smear plot

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was cleared on Thursday of plotting a smear campaign against Nicolas Sarkozy, the current president.

The judge said on Thursday that there was no proof that Villepin had acted in bad faith or tried to smear Sarkozy.

Prosecutors had called for an 18-month suspended sentence and a $70,000 fine on Villepin for complicity to slander Sarkozy at a time when both men were running for president.

Thursday's verict in the Paris court will allows Villepin to boost his chances of a political comeback after the five-year legal saga.

In a video posted on a website run by his supporters ahead of the verdict, the 56-year-old said he was awaiting the judgement with "serenity that comes from knowing you have nothing to be ashamed of".

"It has been five years since this affair started and I am happy that it is coming to an end," he said.

Several of the other defendants were found guilty on various charges.


Agencies

Last Mod: 28 Ocak 2010, 16:05
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