A witness not a suspect. French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said as far as he was concerned he was happy to be able to provide testimony after having been the victim of lies and calumny for so many months. The French Prime Minister had emerged from a Paris Court after a marathon 17 hour session of questioning by judges investigating the Clearstream affair. The Clearstream corruption scandal erupted earlier in the year when a former French intelligence chief General Philippe Rondot was questioned about a plot to discredit Nicolas Sarkozy over financial dealings.
It is alleged that Dominique de Villepin once asked General Rondot to find compromising evidence against Sarkozy. The French Prime Minister denies any involvement in the smear campaign which involves kickback payments and faked bank accounts. Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy are long term rivals within France`s political right. Sarkozy is being seen as the right’s clear favourite in next year’s Presidential election.