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In France, the anonymous letter has long been a way of alerting the authorities to corruption. But it also belongs to the poison pen tradition of settling scores

By Tim King   September 2004

On 13th July, the public prosecutor in Paris decided to open a criminal investigation into the activities of Clearstream, an international clearing house based in Luxembourg. It is alleged that this financial institution, part of the prestigious Deutsche Börse group, has allowed a number of senior French politicians and businessmen to use its services to launder money. The public prosecutor and his examining magistrate both feel a major international investigation is justified, but at the moment their only evidence seems precarious. It comes from anonymous letters. Two anonymous letters, in fact, and a CD-Rom. While the evidence they give is…

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