Ex-French Minister Faces Trouble
PARIS (AP) _ Former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, already in hot water over a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme, could face new legal trouble relating to his management of the estate of the sculptor Alberto Giacometti, French media say.
French prosecutors have opened an investigation into an auction of Giacometti paintings and sculptures that Dumas helped organize in July 1994, French radio and the Le Parisien newspaper reported Wednesday.
The investigation will focus on possibly shady dealings involving a bronze statue, the newspaper reported.
Giacometti’s wife, Annette, died in September 1993, leaving behind a collection worth more than $125 million.
In a separate affair, Dumas was placed under formal investigation last April for ``complicity and receiving embezzled public funds.″
Dumas, now head of one of France’s highest legal bodies, the Constitutional Council, has come under increasing political pressure to resign after his former mistress, Christine Deviers-Joncour, published a book last month giving her account of his involvement in the embezzlement scheme.
Investigators say Deviers-Joncour was hired to lobby him to secure the state-owned Thomson company’s 1991 contract to build frigates for Taiwan. She allegedly shared some of a $12 million commission with Dumas.
Dumas, who has denied the accusations, said Tuesday he had no plans to step down from the Constitutional Council.