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France probes ex-minister Benguigui over assets

Paris prosecutors said Wednesday they had opened a preliminary investigation into allegations that former Socialist minister Yamina Benguigui had lied about her assets. The High Authority for Transparency in Public Life said last month there was "serious doubt on the... accuracy and sincerity" of Benguigui's assets declaration last year, when ministers were forced to publicly reveal what they owned following a tax fraud scandal. The prosecutor's office said in a statement it would investigate "omissions and false assessments... that may constitute a criminal offence".

French minister suspected of lying about assets

France's minister in charge of relations with French-speaking countries, Yamina Benguigui, is suspected of lying about her assets, a state-appointed transparency watchdog said Monday. Francophonie Minister Benguigui has repeatedly and formally denied media allegations that she had failed to declare assets of up to 430,000 euros ($592,000). The High Authority for Transparency in Public Life said there was a "serious doubt on the comprehensiveness, accuracy and sincerity" of the minister's declaration regarding her assets.

French minister suspected of lying about assets

France's minister in charge of relations with French-speaking countries, Yamina Benguigui, is suspected of lying about her assets, a state-appointed transparency watchdog said Monday. Francophonie Minister Benguigui has repeatedly and formally denied media allegations that she had failed to declare assets of up to 430,000 euros ($592,000). bpa/ach/gd

Israeli minister accused of sexual assault

Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, tipped as a possible presidential candidate, has been accused of sexual assault by a female former employee, Israeli media reported on Monday. The alleged victim who worked for Shalom, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, has filed a complaint, the reports said. Police told AFP they were "investigating accusations against a minister," without giving any further details.

Trade minister says progress in trilateral FTA talks with China, Japan

By Byun Duk-kun SEJONG, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade minister on Monday said the country's negotiations for a three-way free trade agreement (FTA) with China and Japan were moving forward though there will be no immediate breakthrough. "Negotiations do not always go smoothly. In certain cases, (the countries) must engage in a tug of war," Yoon Sang-jick said while meeting with reporters here at the Sejong Government Complex.

Indian minister's wife found dead amid adultery row

The wife of prominent Indian minister Shashi Tharoor was found dead Friday in a five-star hotel room after she exposed his alleged adultery with a Pakistani journalist on Twitter, media reports said. The Press Trust of India, quoting unnamed police sources, said the minister reported his wife's death to police. It was not immediately known how the minister's wife, Sunanda Pushkar, had died. pmc/jw

Indian minister's wife found dead amid adultery row

The wife of prominent Indian minister Shashi Tharoor was found dead Friday in a five-star hotel room after she exposed his alleged adultery with a Pakistani journalist on Twitter, media reports said. The Press Trust of India, quoting unnamed police sources, said the minister reported his wife's death to police. It was not immediately known how the minister's wife, Sunanda Pushkar, had died. pmc/jw

Turkey PM excludes EU minister under graft cloud from new cabinet

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan removed EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis from his post in a major cabinet reshuffle late Wednesday as a huge anti-graft scandal ensnaring the premier's closest allies heated up. Outgoing minister Egemen Bagis, who was accused of being involved in the corruption scandal but has never been detained or formally charged, was excluded from the new line-up, replaced by a lawmaker, Mevlut Cavusoglu. dg/rmb

Turkey PM excludes EU minister under graft cloud from new cabinet

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan removed EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis from his post in a major cabinet reshuffle late Wednesday as a huge anti-graft scandal ensnaring the premier's closest allies heated up. Outgoing minister Egemen Bagis, who was accused of being involved in the corruption scandal but has never been detained or formally charged, was excluded from the new line-up, replaced by a lawmaker, Mevlut Cavusoglu. dg/rmb

Turkey's scandal-hit economy minister resigns

Turkey's economy minister, ensnared in a vast corruption scandal that has roiled the government of Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan, resigned Wednesday. "I am stepping down from my post as economy minister so that full light can be shed on this ignoble operation targeting our government," Zafer Caglayan said in a short statement. Caglayan's son is one of two dozen people who have been charged as part of a high-level bribery and corruption probe that has hit Erdogan with the biggest challenge yet to his 11 years in power. ba/yad/oh
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