Paris: French spies tried to track down the source of rumours about the stability of President Nicolas Sarkozy`s marriage, the head of the domestic intelligence agency has said.
Asked about the rumours - which became headlines in the European press outside France after surfacing on blogs - DCRI chief Bernard Squarcini confirmed that specialists had been asked to identify their source.
"My department was tasked by its commanding authority, national police chief Frederic Pechenard, in early March," Squarcini said, shortly after first lady Carla Bruni said the rumours were "insignificant".
"We worked on it until the judicial inquiry began," he added, referring to a complaint lodged by the Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, a complaint which triggered an inquiry against a blogger who posted on its site.
Longstanding rumours about the stability of the presidential marriage went mainstream last month when a blogger working for a firm subcontracted to the newspaper published the rumours, since denied.
The blogger and his employer, the chief operating officer of the content provider Newsweb, have since lost their jobs.