French Budget Minister Cahuzac under tax probe | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.01.2013
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French Budget Minister Cahuzac under tax probe

French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac has come under investigation for possible tax fraud. A media report had claimed he once held an undeclared account in Switzerland which the minister keeps denying.

Prosecutors in Paris announced on Tuesday that French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac was under investigation for alleged tax evasion. The country's Mediapart news website had reported the minister once owned an undeclared UBS account in Geneva, Switzerland, which he subsequently moved to Asia.

Cahuzac himself is in charge of combating tax fraud. He kept denying the website report on his offshore accounts, dismissing them as "crazy claims" and adding that the investigations underway would surely prove his innocence.

Mediapart insisted the minister had his Geneva account until 2010 when he transferred the funds to Singapore.

Suspicious recording

The portal had said it had a trace of a conversation between Cahuzac and one of his former aides in which he allegedly fretted about the UBS account and said "he'd dealt with the matter."

Investigators said on Tuesday they would verify the authenticity and the contents of the recording in question without further delay to reach the truth.

Mediapart, which is staffed by veteran French news journalists, gained prominence in 2010 when it broke a story about a political funding scandal surrounding ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party and L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

hg/msh (AFP, Reuters)