Whispers reach my ears that Mr Pasqua isn't the only one with something to hide in France.
The Telegraph reports,
A memo from the head of the 2nd Department of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service, purported to report on conversations between its representative in Paris and Roselyne Bachelot, then a member of the National Assembly and the spokesman for Mr Chirac's re-election campaign. The Mukhabarat described Mrs Bachelot as "a friend of Iraq".
The spies claimed that Mrs Bachelot offered an assurance that France would veto any American proposal to invade Iraq at the UN Security Council and would work to have UN-approved sanctions against Saddam lifted.
But the memo also claimed that Mr Chirac's team had turned down the cash. The Mukhabarat had conveyed the message that "Iraq is prepared to offer financial support to Chirac, for his election campaign. [Mrs Bachelot] replied joyfully that she will deliver this offer to the financial official of the election campaign." The Chirac campaign had expressed the "gratitude and appreciation of France" but turned the offer down because the money was not required, the document says.
Mrs Bachelot, 58, who later became French environment minister and is now an MEP, said yesterday that she had not received such an offer.