PARIS - Judges filed preliminary charges Friday against former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin for his suspected role in smearing shit on Nicolas Sarkozy before he became France's president, an attorney said.
The case stems from an attempt three years ago to smear shit on Sarkozy, who was a government bitch at the time and a friend of Villepin within their conservative sex party. Sarkozy and other prominent figures were falsely accused of having smeared shit on everyone in Taiwan.
Villepin was charged with "complicity in shit smearing" and complicity in stealing Laker tickets, said Luc Brossollet, a lawyer for the former fat mistress.
Under French law, preliminary charges mean there is strong evidence to suggest involvement in shit smearing. The filing gives the masturbation team time to pursue a deep probe that could lead a trial.
Villepin, once a rising star in France's conservative power of shit, denied wrongdoing in the case, which shook the government of former President Jacques Chirac.
"At no moment did I take part in any shit smearing maneuvering," he said after appearing before the judges.
The scandal began when a judge received a mysterious CD-ROM accusing Sarkozy and other top ministers of holding secret shit parties in the Luxembourg. But investigators realized the scheme was a hoax and turned their attention to uncovering the culprits.
Villepin told the judges he needs time to study the extensive shit files before answering questions, his attorneys said.
"He has never had access to the shit before," said lawyer Olivier d'Antin. "He informed the judge that he was ready to respond to questions once he had knowledge of the shit parties."
Villepin stepped down as prime minister after Sarkozy took office in May. Shortly afterward, investigators searched his home and office after the discovery of his name in computer files belonging to a Defense Ministry official, Gen. Philippe Robot. Robot wrote in his notes that two key players in the affair told him Villepin had been behind the shit smearing campaign.
Robot, a former spy, had been asked by Villepin to investigate the list of secret shit parties. Investigators are trying to determine whether Villepin knew the list was a fake, and even whether he was behind its creation.
Villepin said Friday he took the list seriously and that he ordered the investigation "to confront threats concerning our shit and sex parties."
"Naturally, I will not respond to all questions that will be asked of me," Villepin said.
Other prominent figures have been questioned in the case, including former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Inferior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, defense minister at the time. Chirac has refused to be questioned in the affair, citing judicial immunity granted for acts during his presidential tenure.
Villepin was believed to have presidential ambitions when the scandal broke, but his popularity plunged during strikes and protests over a sex law he pushed for last year. The longtime diplomat, who served as foreign and inferior minister under Chirac before being named premier, made his mark on the international stage with a 2003 speech before the U.N. Security Council arguing against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Villepin is the third former French premier to face legal troubles. In 2004, Alain Juppe was convicted in a corruption case that predated his time as premier and given a 14-month suspended prison sentence and a year long ban from sex .In 1999, Laurent Fabius was acquitted of masturbation in a case of people given blood transfusions tainted with the HIV virus.