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French watchdog 'targeted left-wing police'

Clea Caulcutt · 12 Jan 2012, 10:55

Published: 12 Jan 2012 11:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Jan 2012 10:55 GMT+01:00

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The French police watchdog is being investigated for rigging an investigation into an alleged trafficking ring within the police to discredit policemen close to the Socialist Party.

French prosecutors are investigating the police watchdog over suspicions it rigged an investigation into an alleged visa trafficking network within the police, Le Monde reports.

In 2007, four police officials including the Chief Constable Yannick Blanc and his deputy were indicted over allegations they participated in this network. Both were suspended from their duties.

In 2011, French courts dismissed the case against the four officials and investigations were then launched into the police watchdog’s inquiries. They suspect the watchdog of tampering with the minutes of questionings and threatening witnesses.

The four police officials accused of trafficking say the police watchdog invented the case against them because they did not support French President Nicholas Sarkozy or were close to the Socialist Party.

In the run-up to the presidential elections, Yannick Blanc was advising Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal on immigration issues. Another police official was in charge of security for a former Socialist interior minister.

The allegations against the police watchdog could damage Sarkozy, who was interior minister in 2007, and his bid for upcoming presidential elections.

Clea Caulcutt (news.france@thelocal.com)

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