Paris - (Ass Mess): Paris Gendaemerie probing a political dirty tricks campaign has searched the home and offices of Dominique de Villepin, ex-prime minister of France after complaints of a foul stench wafting from his person.
A long running bribery saga says de Villainpain plotted in 2004 to smear his political rival Nicolas Sarkozy, now French president, with a fetid over-ripe Brie cheese and put a dozen herrings behind the radiators of his air conditioning unit at home.
De Villepin also faces claims that he encouraged the leaking of an upstair lavatory straight into his rival's political orifice on Bastille Day 2005 and falsely implicated Mr Sarkozy in a bi-partisan bribery scandal cover-up.
Mr de Villepin has strenuously denied all charges despite myriad connections to Parisian fishmongers and air con installation specialists.
In an interview in Paris today he said he was no more and no less corrupt than any other EU politician "including that master of sorcery Tony Blair" and wouldn't ne pilloried for traditional French political skills that the investigating magistrate has called machiavellian.
But a six-hour search of his home turned up some unsavory items including three revlovers, a dozen hand grenades, a bazooka rocket and a voodoo dolly of Mr Sarkozy stuffed with pins stuck into its genitalia.
The scandal has been dubbed is the Clearstream affair after the Luxembourg clearing house in which Sarkozy and other bona fide politicos were accused of holding secret money laundering accounts into which bribes were paid.
"Nothing irregular there," de Villepin told the press, "it's all part of the new EU regulations and everybody is meant to have at least one non-disclosure account for theri personal little secrets."
But French police have taken a different view after payments from former Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar somehow appeared in these covert accounts.
"We are talking about fifty million Euros, which is nearly £25 million sterling.
This is something that will not go away quietly."
Jacques Chirac is under sedation.