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Disgraced ex-minister 'hit with lying charge'

AFP/The Local · 12 Sep 2013, 08:53

Published: 12 Sep 2013 08:53 GMT+02:00

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Former French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac has been charged with a count of lying to the government in addition to his tax fraud charges, a judicial source said Wednesday.

Cahuzac, whose resignation in disgrace last March rocked President Francois Hollande's Socialist government, met Wednesday with magistrates investigating charges laid after he admitted to having secret foreign bank accounts.

The source said he was informed of the additional charge - of making an "incomplete or deceptive asset declaration as a member of the government" - at the meeting.

Once in charge of battling tax evasion and fraud, Cahuzac has admitted to repeatedly lying about overseas accounts in Switzerland and Singapore said to contain around €600,000 ($799,000).

He resigned from his post in March, was expelled from the Socialist Party and lost his parliamentary seat after the scandal came to light following an investigative media report.

The scandal shook France's government and damaged the squeaky-clean image that Hollande had sought to project, less than a year after he was voted into office.

THe charge is just the latest problem for Cahuzac, a man once tasked with cracking down on tax evasion.

the scnadal has also engulfed his estranged wife Patricia, who lastmonth was also hit with charges of tax fraud and money laundering.

Story continues below…

The dermatologist and her husband, a former plastic surgeon, ran a flourishing hair transplant salon in Paris. Jerome Cahuzac also served as an adviser to several pharmaceutical companies.

SEE ALSO: Ten great French political scandals

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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