A former Government official was charged with theft before an examining magistrate in Paris on Monday (September 18) as a political storm grew over his allegations of high-level corruption in the Gaullist Government.
SV EXTERIOR. Police and reporters outside Palais de Justice
LV & SV Reporters surrounding M. Aranda
SCU Aranda amidst reporters
TV M. Aranda moving through crowd of reporters
Initials ES. 1605 ES. 1617
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Background: A former Government official was charged with theft before an examining magistrate in Paris on Monday (September 18) as a political storm grew over his allegations of high-level corruption in the Gaullist Government.
M. Gabriel Aranda, press officer to a former housing minister, says he has confidential documents incriminating 48 public figures in France.
After appearing before Judge Pierre Galmiche, M. Aranda was allowed to go free pending further questioning in court ton Thursday (21 September), when he was expected to produce the documents.
M. Aranda was surrounded by dozens of reporters and cameramen as he left the Palais de Justice.
Last week, M. Aranda said he would make the documents public unless the French Government decided not to supply Mirage fighter aircraft to Libya. He later told reporters that he wanted to "clean out the stables" in France.
He claimed that documents he had copied while he was a ministerial aids showed that Gaullist party officials had sought business favours from Government Ministers.
M. Aranda's allegations have brought calls from opposition leaders for early general elections.
SYNOPSIS: Reporters gathered at the Palais de Justice in Paris on Monday to question a former Government official who has alleged corruption in the French Government.
Gabriel Aranda had appeared before an examining magistrate, charged with the theft of one hundred and thirty six official documents. He claims that they reveal incriminating evidence against forty-eight prominent public figures in France. The allegations have raised a political storm, with opposition leaders calling for an early general election.
M. Aranda, who was press secretary to a former housing minister, said the documents he had copied showed that Gaullist party officials had sought business favour from Government Ministers.
He claimed that sums of money wee paid in return for construction contracts. M. Aranda said initially that his aim was to stop France from selling Mirage aircraft to Libya and added later that he wanted to "clean out the stables of the Kingdom."