French foreign minister blasts newspaper

April 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM
| License Photo

PARIS, April 8 (UPI) -- France's foreign minister blasted a newspaper for reporting that another media outlet was investigating whether he has a Swiss bank account to help dodge taxes.

Laurent Fabius said the report by the left-leaning newspaper Liberation, which claimed he's being investigated by the news website Mediapart, had no "substance or foundation." The foreign minister said he would take legal action to "stop the diffusion of this false and slanderous information."

France 24 reported Fabius denied Sunday he was the target of an investigation by Mediapart -- which just last week uncovered a Swiss bank account held by former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who has since admitted he lied about his finances to avoid paying his full share of taxes.

"More than an affair, it's a potential political bomb. Everyone thinks the same thing: If Fabius really does have a Swiss bank account, the entire government would fall. Immediately," Liberation wrote in its Monday edition under the headline, "The nightmare continues."

Mediapart's president, Edwy Plenel, took serious issue with the newspaper's reporting.

"Liberation has lost its mind: It is transforming a rumor into news by taking credit for information Mediapart has not published," Plenel tweeted.

Cahuzac faces a potential five-year prison sentence and a fine of 375,000 euros ($487,000). Radio France Internationale said he had more than 15 million euros stashed in the bank account and presented a fake tax receipt when he tried moving it to an account in Singapore.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Demand for mobile phones in North Korea means two per household
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
Volcanic eruption alerts authorities in Japan
Girl Scouts chapter returns $100K donation that excluded transgender girls
More than 1,000 prisoners, some al-Qaida, escape Yemeni prison