French graft inquiry may widen

French graft inquiry may widen

The head of a French service which covers some of the same functions as MI5 may face legal action for obstructing investigation of alleged slush-funding of President Chirac's party. Judge Eric Halphen, investigating the RPR's finances, has asked for his power of inquiry to be extended to the activities of Yves Bertrand, head of Renseignements Generaux. Messages sent to Mr Halphen from an apparently well-placed deep-throat implied the RG withheld evidence that the RPR has slush-funds in Switzerland. John Lichfield - Paris

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