A French appeals court has confirmed the acquittal of the former prime minister Dominique de Villepin over a political scandal where he had been accused of smearing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Prosecutors had appealed against the previous verdict that cleared him last year. They wanted him to be given a 15 month suspended jail term.
The so-called Clearstream affair centred on a list of names that falsely implicated Sarkozy in a bribery case before he became French President
After the verdict Villepin said: ‘This case was initiated in 2005/2006 in the run-up to the 2007 presidential elections. How I wish this could be a lesson for the 2012 presidential elections. As for me, I have come out of this ordeal stronger.’
But now Villepin is facing new accusations from this former adviser to President Chirac alleging he accepted millions of euros in cash from African leaders. Villepin and Chirac both plan to sue.