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French Prosecutors Probe Hollande’s Alleged Mishandling of Classified Docs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Paris- A scandal surrounding a book called ‘A President Shouldn’t Say That’ is seeing a new twist.

French prosecutors are investigating a potential national security breach, after Francois Hollande allegedly left secret files right in front of reporters.

French prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into whether documents lying in front of reporters on President Hollande’s desk posed a threat to national security, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

Before that, the journalists, Fabrice Lhomme and Gerard Davet, wrote an article based on an Aug. 30, 2013, meeting with Hollande as he awaited an OK from Washington on an airstrike in Syria. The strike was not carried out.

In the newspaper article published Aug. 24, the journalists gave many details about their meeting with Hollande at the Elysee Palace three years earlier.

The reporters described piles of documents, including ones bearing a “classified” stamp, lying on the presidential desk right before their eyes.

It remained unclear, however, how the reporters managed to acquire a copy of the classified documents.

After Le Monde published the article, French Member of Parliament Eric Ciotti, from the conservative opposition, claimed the article contained “all the elements of a top-level scandal.”

He said he has written twice to the defense ministry since then — in August and October — but didn’t receive any response. So he said he complained to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The office confirmed it launched its preliminary investigation based on Ciotti’s complaint.

It also said no investigating services have yet been charged with leading the probe because the prosecutor’s office has first asked for details from the French Defense Ministry.

Some French MPs even vowed to impeach the president, not for controversial remarks, but for disclosure of “confidential information.”

The new scandal came at a very unfortunate time for Francois Hollande, just days before he is expected to make an announcement about whether he would run for the next presidential term.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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