Irate Sarkozy calls journalist paedophile to prove point
Angry remarks by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told reporters privately that linking him to kick-backs for French submarine sales was as absurd as him calling one journalist a paedophile, were made public yesterday after being leaked by a magazine.
Infuriated by reports linking him to an investigation into possible kickbacks to French politicians in the 1990s, Mr Sarkozy lashed out at a journalist and said he could just as easily accuse him of being a paedophile.
In a media briefing on Friday that was 'off the record', Mr Sarkozy launched a tirade against sloppy reporting, saying journalists should check their facts.
"The world's gone mad. There's not a single one among you who believes I'd organise kickbacks on submarines for Pakistan. This is incredible," said Mr Sarkozy. To stress his point, he turned to one journalist and said: "And you. It appears that you're a paedophile . . . who told me? It's my personal belief. Can you justify that?"
His comments were published online by the weekly 'l'Express'.