France probes into source of Sarkozy affairs rumours



France probes into source of Sarkozy affairs rumours London: France has initiated a criminal investigation to find out the source of Internet rumours that President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni were having extra-marital affairs.

The probe has been ordered as the President's advisers suggested that the rumours might have been started only in an attempt to destabilise Sarkozy's position at a time when he is seeking to regulate global capitalism, 'The Times' reported.

"Now we are going to see whether there is a sort of organised plot with financial movements. There had to be a judicial procedure, so that fear would switch to the other side," President Sarkozy's communication adviser Pierre Charon was quoted as saying.

Claims that Sarkozy was having an affair with Chantal Jouanno, France's Ecology Minister, and the First Lady with Benjamin Biolay, a singer, circulated on Twitter in February.

Both Sarkozy and his wife have denied the rumours, which the President dismissed as "idiotic".

They were repeated by at least two French journalists on their Twitter accounts -- although both say that they have no evidence to substantiate the allegations -- and in a blog on the website of the 'Journal du Dimanche', a newspaper whose political coverage is regarded as largely non-partisan.

When Sarkozy complained, the blogger was sacked and Michael Amand, the director of the site, was forced to resign. Under pressure from Sarkozy's lawyers, Hachette Filipacchi Associ’s, which owns the 'Journal du Dimanche', has lodged a formal legal complaint for "fraudulent introduction of data into a computer system".

PTI