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French minister suspected of lying about assets: watchdog

Published on Apr 1, 2014 12:11 AM

PARIS (AFP) - France's minister in charge of relations with French-speaking countries is suspected of lying about her assets, a state-appointed transparency watchdog said Monday, referring the case to the courts.

The High Authority for Transparency in Public Life said there was "serious doubt on the... accuracy and sincerity" of Yamina Benguigui's assets declaration last April, when ministers were forced to publicly reveal what they owned following a tax fraud scandal.

But the 59-year-old on Monday denied any "fraud" or "personal enrichment", following weeks of media allegations that she failed to declare shares she held in a Belgian company worth 430,000 euros ($747,000).

"Madame Benguigui's assets are well known and have been regularly declared to the tax administration," her lawyer Martine Malinbaum told AFP.

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