Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Clearstream in English

The BBC had... this  
General Philippe Rondot, seen as a key witness, was taken by police to appear before investigating magistrates.
Gen Rondot, a 69 year-old senior intelligence official, has given evidence to the inquiry, but stopped answering questions after parts of his notes - implicating the prime minister and President Jacques Chirac - were leaked to the media. On Monday, he again refused to answer magistrates' questions, the French news agency AFP reported. His lawyer Eric Morain said Gen Rondot "reiterated his demand to be questioned in the presence of his lawyer, which was turned down, so he refused to answer the judges' questions".
Caroline Wyatt added that the French public were rapidly losing interest in the affaire (Europe Today, Monday), which was also reported by the Financial Times, Saturday (20 May). Peggy Hollinger in the FT also had a profile of Jean-Louis Gergorin (requires subscription), which explained some of the background. 'It all began with a tip in 2003 from a security contact, who suggested there had been unusual share dealings in the Lagardère group in the weeks before the death of its owner, Jean-Luc Lagardère.' Gergorin had worked with Lagardère on deals in the French aeronautical / defence industry, culminating in the merger that established EADS.

Gergorin 'called on a computer expert to trace transactions in Lagardère shares.' He found 'a complicated web of financial transactions, conducted through the Luxembourg-based clearing house [...]'


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