A Paris appeals court overturned the bribery conviction of ex-Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, in a fresh blow to French magistrates whose high-level corruption investigations have been repeatedly thrown out by judges. Dumas was convicted in 2001 of placing his mistress on the payroll of formerly state-owned oil company Elf Aquitaine, then accepting gifts from her that were financed by Elf. But the appeals court ruled on Jan. 29 that prosecutors failed to prove that Dumas knew Elf paid for the gifts.
Meanwhile, Bank of France President Jean-Claude Trichet took the stand on Jan. 27-28 to deny charges that as a banking regulator in the '90s he deliberately overlooked falsified accounting reports from then-state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais. If convicted, Trichet would be barred from the presidency of the European Central Bank, a post he is to assume in July.
Edited by Rose Brady