Russia ready for talks with US on INF arms treaty

Russia is ready to hold consultations with the United States about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at diplomatic and military levels. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Russia ready for talks with US on INF arms treaty

  • Russia is ready to hold consultations with the United States about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at diplomatic and military levels

MOSCOW: Russia is ready to hold consultations with the United States about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at diplomatic and military levels, Tass news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Wednesday.
“We are ready for dialogue if the United States will be ready for this,” Ryabkov told reporters in New Delhi, Tass reported.
“If it happens tomorrow, then we are ready tomorrow. But the dialogue should be on the basis of equality of rights,” Ryabkov said.


France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

Updated 19 June 2019
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France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

  • Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion
  • Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers

PARIS: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial for influence peddling after the country's highest court rejected his final bid to have the case thrown out, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion in return for leaked information about a separate inquiry. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s successful campaign for the presidency in 2007.
As they eavesdropped on his calls, the investigators began to suspect the former president had offered the judge promotion in return for information on another investigation involving allegations Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for the same campaign.
Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a “fishing expedition” by tapping his conversations between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.
He was cleared over the Bettencourt allegations.
On Wednesday, his defence team said the use in this case of wiretapped remarks gleaned in relation to a different investigation contravened a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
"These legal issues are still relevant," Sarkozy lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said. "It will be for the court to decide whether a French court can override a decision of the European Court of Human Rights."
Wednesday's ruling that the trial proceed came from the 'Cour de Cassation', which decides whether an earlier decision by an appeals court conforms with French law.