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Updated: January 29, 2010 15:00 IST

Prosecutor to appeal acquittal of Villepin

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Former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin speaks after the verdict of the slander trial at the Paris courthouse on Thursday in Paris. The court acquitted Mr. Villepin on charges related to his alleged role in a smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy. Thursday's acquittal paves the way for Mr. Villepin to try to return to the world of politics, including a possible run for the presidency in 2012. Photo: AP.
Former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin speaks after the verdict of the slander trial at the Paris courthouse on Thursday in Paris. The court acquitted Mr. Villepin on charges related to his alleged role in a smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy. Thursday's acquittal paves the way for Mr. Villepin to try to return to the world of politics, including a possible run for the presidency in 2012. Photo: AP.

A prosecutor says he is appealing the acquittal of former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on charges he took part in a smear campaign against France’s president.

Prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin says an appeal could be heard in late 2010 or 2011. He told Europe-1 radio on Friday that he was surprised by the verdict that cleared Mr. Villepin but convicted three others.

Allegations about the alleged smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy and others date back to 2004. The case involved a phony list of leading French politicians and businessmen who allegedly held secret bank accounts for shady income.

Mr. Villepin has suggested he could try to return to the world of politics, including a possible run for the presidency in 2012.

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