Spy Agency Ordered by Sarkozy to Uncover Source of Infidelity Rumours

Kompas.com - 09/04/2010, 14:20 WIB

KOMPAS.com - Nicolas Sarkozy ordered spies to uncover the source of rumours that he and wife Carla Bruni were having affairs, France's intelligence chief has admitted.

The revelation came hours after the French first lady publicly denied there had been an 'investigation' into speculation that the couple's marriage was in crisis.

It was also claimed last night that former justice minister Rachida Dati - who stands accused of being behind the leak - was kicked out of a five-star hotel during a government visit on the orders of the French president.

Miss Bruni, 42, was forced to go on live radio to defend her 55-year-old husband after his spokesman accused Britain of being part of a plot to destabilise France's economy by spreading the rumours.

The Left-wing Liberation newspaper later described the language as 'paranoid'.

Miss Bruni told radio station Europe 1 on Wednesday: 'There was no policy investigation, no investigation at all. I don't believe we're victims of a plot.

'There was no conspiracy and no vengeance, and we turned the page a long time ago.'

However, Bernard Squarcini, head of the spy agency DCRI - France's equivalent of MI5 - told a news website hours later that he had been asked to find the source of the rumours.

'My department was tasked to determine if the rumours targeting the presidential couple were part of a plot to destabilise them,' he said.

Last week, it emerged that Mr Sarkozy had stripped Miss Dati, 44, of her ministerial perks, including a chauffeur-driven limo and bodyguards, after he suspected her of being behind the rumours.

And yesterday it was claimed the former former justice minister was kicked out of the five-star Hotel Mandarin in

Geneva and downgraded to a cheaper one. 'Her disloyalty towards Mr Sarkozy after all he has done for her was the reason for this downgrading,' a source said.

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