Villepin accused of conspiring against Sarkozy

The trial, due to run for a month, will focus on the biggest political scandal France has seen in years — a tortuous and murky affair worthy of a thriller, featuring forged documents, spies and bitter enmities.

The so-called “Clearstream affair” nearly destroyed the centre-right government of the then president Jacques Chirac in which the former diplomat Villepin and the blunt-spoken outsider Sarkozy were rival ministers.

Villepin denies any wrongdoing and says he is himself the victim of injustice.

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