14:27 21 March 2013
Mr Jerome Cahuzac, a cabinet heavyweight who was tasked to cut deficits, has resigned over tax evasion allegations. He is now under investigation for holding a secret Swiss bank account, but has not yet been formally accused.
His resignation is a huge blow to President Francois Hollande’s administration. The President is currently struggling to balance state books and impose new taxes on the rich.
Mr. Cahuzac had adamantly denied media accusations that he once had an illegal bank account in Switzerland.
However, the state prosecution service has evidence - a recorded telephone conversation from 2000 where Mr. Cahuzac allegedly admitted having an illegal Swiss account.
The Paris chief prosecutor has confirmed the start of formal investigation into “the laundering of evaded taxes.” He also confirmed that there would be a second investigation, which will centre on allegations that Mr. Cahuza received illegal payments from pharmaceutical firms.
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