Chirac Denies Charges in 'Travelgate' Scandal

From Times Wire Reports

Denouncing a climate of suspicion and manipulation, French President Jacques Chirac denied sleaze allegations and struck out at graft investigators for the "scandalous" treatment of his family.

"I have nothing to hide," the president said in a television interview broadcast live from his Elysee Palace on France's Bastille Day.

Chirac said the "Travelgate" scandal--a string of lavish trips to New York, Tokyo and the Indian Ocean--had been blown out of proportion. The trips were paid for in cash, which raised suspicions that the money may have come from illegal kickbacks.

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