Friday, April 28, 2006

Le Corbeau.

France too has a 'leak' scandal of its own, only the leak happened to be fake but the scandal is nonetheless major and it reads like a real political thriller :
The scandal began with anonymous charges in 2004 that French Interior Minister Sarkozy and other French politicians (including socialists) had accounts in a Luxembourg-based finance house, Clearstream, and linked them to a bribe-ridden sale of French frigates to Taiwan in 1991. (here)
The accusations have been proved wrong since then and now investigators are trying to identify the anonymous informer who accused the top political figures. As you can imagine, the media in France have been all over the place with speculation about who was behind the letters.
This has also been yet another illustration of the rivalry between Sarkozy and Villepin (the French PM). Today in Le Monde, the French Prime Minister denied being involved in the smear campaign. The French investigators raided yesterday the office of defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie, as part of the defamation probe. Talk about a scandal!
So the big deal now is to find the the poison-pen letter writer called "le corbeau" (the 'raven'') in French.

NOTE: the term "corbeau" is extremely charged in French as it connotes the term also used for the anonymous letter writers who denounced people to the authority during WWII and immediately after.
It also refers to the title of a famous movie made in 1943 about a
vicious series of poison-pen letters spreading rumours, suspicion and fear among the inhabitants of a small French town who turn on each other as their hidden secrets are unveiled.


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