France probes ex-minister`s orgy claim

Last Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 13:08

Paris: The French prosecutor`s office opened a preliminary investigation on Wednesday after a former government minister alleged that another ex-minister had participated in an orgy with young boys in Morocco.

Former education minister Luc Ferry will likely be questioned after alleging during a television show that another minister was caught at an orgy in Marrakech, a judicial official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity since she wasn`t authorised to speak publicly.

The preliminary investigation is aimed at seeking more precise information from Ferry, the official said.

In France, a preliminary investigation is conducted to see if a case should be pursued.

Ferry, who was education minister from 2002 to 2004, did not name the minister or the government in which that minister had served, but said during a television show on Monday that he heard about the case from a prime minister. He did not specify which one.

"Me, I know and I think I am not alone," Ferry said on the show on Canal Plus cable TV debating the long-standing French tradition of respect for private lives.

The subject of privacy for public figures has taken a centre-stage in the French media since the former leader of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn was widely considered the likely Socialist Party candidate in next year`s presidential elections.

French journalists have long observed a tradition of respect for the private lives of politicians, but the Strauss-Kahn affair has led to soul-searching.

Ferry said the Marrakech incident was recounted to him "by high authorities of the state, in particular a prime minister”. However, he added that he wouldn`t name names because he has no proof and "if I give the name now ... it`s me who would be (investigated). I would surely be convicted even if I know the story is true."

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 13:08

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