France’s former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac has been charged in a tax fraud probe, as he admitted to holding a foreign bank account.
On Tuesday, Cahuzac was charged with laundering the proceeds of tax fraud for a Swiss bank account with about 600,000 euros ($770,000).
Cahuzac denied the allegations for several months, calling them “slanderous”.
Meanwhile, President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that he was following his ex-minister’s case and that the courts would decide his fate.
Soon after the announcement, critics demanded to know if Hollande or any other top French official knew about the account.
Jean-Francois Cope, the head of the main opposition rightwing UMP party, said the French president “must assume his responsibilities in the face of this state lie and explain himself before the French people.”
Christian Jacob, the head of the UMP’s faction in the lower house National Assembly, said, “I find it hard to imagine that Hollande and Ayrault were not aware” of the existence of the account.
On March 19, Cahuzac resigned as France’s budget minister after prosecutors opened a probe into the account, which was first revealed by a news agency.
Cahuzac was elected to the National Assembly in 1997. He was in charge of its commission on public finances and was appointed by Hollande as budget minister when forming his first government.