Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has accused President Nicolas Sarkozy of hanging him on a “butcher’s hook” after the Paris prosecutor called for him to be given an 18 months suspended jail sentence.
Villepin is charged with conspiring to discredit Sarkozy to block his bid to become president. The former prime minister told reporters: “I want to believe that the prosecutor today expressed in court his conviction, he did not tell the facts, I do not believe he told the truth of the law. Nicolas Sarkozy promised to hang me on a butcher’s hook, I see that the promise has been kept.” Sarkozy’s counsel has denied the president was conducting a political vendetta against Villepin by trying to ensure he was ineligible for public office. The case centres on a fake list of account holders from the Clearstream financial clearing house who were said to have received bribes for arms sales. Sarkozy’s name was on that list and he believes the scandal was fabricated to tarnish him during his campaign for the presidential nomination before the 2007 election.