JUNE 19, 2001
Elf problems still developing
THE Elf scandal in France has not ended yet, despite the jailing of a number of defendants in the first round of trials. Former foreign minister Roland Dumas, former Elf boss Loic Le Floch-Prigent and his deputy Alfred Sirven. After being sentenced Dumas said that "Elf was the cash cow of the republic. It was common knowledge" and added that he was being victimized. Dumas said that many others were involved in various corrupt schemes and that he was convinced that "the justice system does not want to pursue this all the way through and unearth the truth" and added that this was "perhaps to protect people who are still in power."
There have long been allegations of institutionalized corruption at the highest levels of government during the presidency of Francois Mitterand. Although so far there has been no suggestion of any impropriety, it is worth noting that Mitterand and Elf both had connections in Formula 1 at the time.
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