Clearstream Scandal

Topics: Nicolas Sarkozy, Dominique de Villepin, Clearstream Pages: 2 (455 words) Published: April 23, 2012



The situation that occurred within the Clearstream scandal is quite simple. Not only was the company illegally moving money around a variety of accounts, they also were involved with money laundering and tax evasion. Defendants were charged in appellate court. In June 2001, there were several inquires into suspicious bribes that were paid to French officials for the sale of six French frigates to Taiwan (in 1991 the worth was $2.8 billion). A Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke is put in charge of this investigation. In January of 2004, Dominque de Villepin (the foreign minister), inquired to a Senior Intelligence Officer, General Philippe Rondot, to investigate rumors of corruption linked to the sale. It is unknown as to who disclosed this information. In May and June of 2004, Judge Van Ruymbeke received two letters and a CD from an anonymous sender. The documents contained bank account numbers at Clearstream, a Luxembourg-based clearing house, and a hint at secret payments worth millions of dollars. Also, it included a list of prominent business and political figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy, the economy minister. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was cleared by the French appeals court of conspiring to smear his arch-rival, President Nicolas Sarkozy, in the 'Clearstream' case. This did not mean he could rest; Villepin was also accused by a former middleman of taking envelopes of 'dirty' cash from African leaders. This case is actually still opened. The Clearstream scandal is an act of mens rea. There is a guilty mind and the culprits knew what they were doing, laundering money. They also committed actus reus, because the illegal act was committed. In 2004 (September), A defamation inquiry was opened which followed legal action by several of the businessmen that were named in the Clearstream list ("Timeline: France's clearstream," 2006). At the end of...
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