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.
One of those excerpts suggests when he was interior minister, Sarkozy had received bribes in an arms-smuggling affair.
The excerpt refers to French businessman Pierre Falcone, 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.
Other excerpts from Bertrand’s notebooks refer to an alleged affair Sarkozy had with the wife of a lawmaker and suggested builders who had constructed a house were paid “off the books,” to evade taxes.
In an interview Bertrand said that 80 per cent of the information he received consisted of unverified rumours and gossip.