Libération reports (machine translation) that Vile Pin was informed of the results of the investigations a considerable time before he admits to it. It also makes clear that the French authorities oiginally considered this to be score settling within EADS until the names of the politicians appeared on the leaked list.
In the actual judicial investigation (as opposed to comment/fall out), Libération also reports that the home of Imad Lahoud was searched by the investigsating magistrates and numerous documents were seized as was the home of his father-in-law François Heilbronner. Mr Heilbronner is yet another l'Escroc connection as he was a former lawyer for l'Escroc (although it should be noted that given the "small world" nature of the French politic elite thas may not be anything more than coincidence).
I have linked to Delize cartoons before and today's one is about as good a summary of the overall effect as it stands today as you are likely to see:
As man + dog has noted, this is all bubbling up because l'Escroc (and his puppet Vile Pin) hates Sarko and dreads the idea that Sarko might be his successor and given that all this is about next year's presidential election the question has always been (when) would Sarko resign with numerous rumours that Sarko was planning to resign from the government ASAP. However, he has now firmly denied them:
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has scotched rumours that he will resign from the government because of a corruption scandal.
Mr Sarkozy, who also heads the ruling party, was wrongly accused of holding secret foreign bank accounts.
The public is bewildered, the opposition socialists are making hay, but Mr Sarkozy, a man who is often portrayed as the great hope of the right, has decided that for now, he is not going to jump ship.
With the government's popularity plunging, there is a lot of temptation for Mr Sarkozy to resign and pose as a candidate of change and renewal at next year's election.
But he told a party gathering in Paris that resigning would precipitate a worse crisis that would help only the extremists and the political left.
"I want justice, real justice, not political vengeance," he said.
Although I'm not at all sure about that last line. I'm sure he does want justice but I bet he also wants vengence!
As for l'Escroc - somehow I missed this but last week the Wapping Liar published a translated extract of "La Tragédie du Président: Scènes de la Vie Politique, 1986-2006," by Franz-Olivier Giesbert which (accurately as far as I can tell) documents how useless l'Escroc has been as president. Someone who came in promising to change things and cut government has ended up doing neither or indeed much of anything else.
Even the AP gets into the act of comparing the utterances of l'Escroc with the actual courese of events. It makes pretty pathetic reading:
PARIS - President Jacques Chirac started 2006 by declaring his determination to make it "a useful year for France." Instead, his government has lurched from crisis to crisis. [...] "It is indispensable for the country," Chirac said, adding that, in this way, the country can face the 2007 election year "in a spirit of calm and responsibility."
[...] To the outside world, the sorry state of affairs presents a picture of a France in chaos, further compromising the nation‘s traditional role as a European leader after the humiliating French "no" vote in the referendum for a European constitution last May.
Chirac, however, insisted Friday that France's authority abroad had not suffered. Speaking in Vienna, he said France‘s role in a European-Latin American summit there and the results of recent French diplomacy "show that this concern has no place."
Commentary and Specualation alert: As numerous commentators have noted, although the socialists have piled in on criticising l'Escroc and his government for its behaviour and have tabled a censure motion in the parliament for next week, they don't seem ready to fight an election - indeed AFP reports that they can't agree on a common policy platform. I am wondering whether Sarko is in fact not resigning because he expects the government to fall momentarily and for there to be an election rather earlier than anyone else expected. I think it is fair to say that neither the left nor the far right are prepared for an election this year so, if Sarko is prepared, and I think he probably is, then he may be deliberately aiming for an election when his oponents are off balance. Sarko has, in fact, continued his day job as interior minister throughout all this and has proposed fairly controversial reforms to the immigration laws.
1) The "Mohammed" law All people called Mohammed, who know someone call Mohammed, are related to Mohammed, or worship the prophet Mohammed, are to undergo a strict "Francisation" course at an army base in Neuilly, involving singing the Marseillaise on the hour, every hour, and worshipping a bust of Générale de Gaulle. Anyone who fails to eat three jars of pig paté is immediately expelled from the country, along with all the Mohammeds they already know / are related to.
2) The Sangatte Marathon Under cover of darkness, immigrants run a gruelling marathon to the Eurostar tunnel, and must convince British officials that they are French in order to enter Britain. They will be provided with berets, stripy Breton jumpers and onions to hang around their necks, as well as fake passports including the stamp "I am Frenchie", and a signature from Nic The Gnome himself. Anyone who fails will be returned to their own country.
Laughter aside, the key point here is that Sarko is doing something that no other French minister seems to be doing - work - and while the chattering classes may disagree with what he proposes I think it is fairly sure that a large chunk of voters do agree and that particularly includes a whole load of potential FN voters. So by proposing these changes, even if they end up being rejected, Sarko gets to steal the thunder of Le Pen and hence probably a lot of his support. If he can get an election in the near future while the socialists are still faffing around, Le Pen losing support and no other credible centre-right candidate on the horizon he ought to be a sure victor. The only question will be whether he can fit the election in before everyone goes off on their summer hols.