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Top French ministers to face public grilling on scandal

France's parliament on Tuesday kicked off a high-profile public probe into a major tax fraud scandal that has shaken the Socialist government and the squeaky-clean image it is seeking to project. The special parliamentary commission will examine whether the government mishandled the scandal, in which former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac repeatedly lied about having an undeclared foreign bank account.

France's disgraced ex-minister abandons re-election bid

France's disgraced former budget minister, forced out of office over a tax fraud scandal, will not seek re-election to his former parliamentary seat, a newspaper reported Sunday. Jerome Cahuzac, who last month bowed to pressure and also resigned from parliament, told the regional daily Depeche du Midi he made the decision because he feared a violent hate campaign against him and incessant media harassment would make it impossible to get his message across to voters.

Ex-French minister says 'lied to self' over Swiss bank account

By Nicholas Vinocur PARIS (Reuters) - A former French minister who quit after admitting he had a secret foreign bank account appealed for forgiveness on Tuesday, saying on TV he had made a "crazy error", lied to himself for years and was unlikely to return to politics. Jerome Cahuzac resigned last month after coming under investigation for tax fraud, admitting, despite weeks of ardent denials, that he had lied to colleagues about having a Swiss bank account which held some 600,000 euros (512,456 pounds).

Blow for Hollande as ex-minister charged in tax fraud probe

France's ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac was charged Tuesday in a tax fraud probe after he admitted having a foreign bank account, dealing a fresh blow to President Francois Hollande's embattled government. Critics were quick to pounce on the scandal, demanding to know if Hollande or other top officials were aware of the account held by the minister once responsible for cracking down on tax evasion. In a contrite statement on his website, Cahuzac admitted to having had the foreign account for around 20 years and said he was "devastated by guilt".

French ex-minister admits secret bank account, inquiry begun

PARIS (Reuters) - France's erstwhile budget minister admitted on Tuesday to holding a secret 600,000-euro (508,892 pounds) foreign bank account and he was placed under a fraud investigation in a grave blow to President Francois Hollande's 10-month-old government. Jerome Cahuzac's surprise reversal after months of denying allegations he held a Swiss account deeply embarrassed Hollande, who had promised an irreproachable team of ministers and is battling to uphold France's fiscal credibility in the eyes of foreign investors.

French judges to seek Swiss, Singapore help in fraud probe

French authorities on Wednesday appointed two of the country's top examining magistrates to oversee an international probe into suspected tax fraud that has forced the country's budget minister to resign. Jerome Cahuzac stepped down on Tuesday after prosecutors announced there would be a full criminal inquiry into allegations that he had an undeclared bank account in Switzerland. The 60-year-old former cosmetic surgeon is also suspected of moving assets to Singapore in order to hide them from the tax authorities.

Tax probe launched against French budget minister

French prosecutors said Tuesday they had opened a formal investigation into Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac for suspected tax fraud, adding that he was probably the person recorded on an incriminating audio tape. Cahuzac, who is in charge of battling tax evasion, has denied any wrongdoing following a report by the Mediapart investigative website that he had an undeclared Swiss bank account until 2010.
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