French prosecutor in Bettencourt affair illegally spied journalists' phone calls

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Senior French public prosecutor Philippe Courroye (pictured) acted illegally when he spied on journalists' phone calls and SMS records in order to identify their sources while they were reporting the L'Oréal-Bettencourt affair, France's highest court has ruled. It is a severe blow for Courroye, widely regarded as an ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy and who now faces being formally placed under investigation - one step short of charges being brought - for "collecting information of a personal nature by use of fraudulent, foul or illicit means". Michel Deléan reports.

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A senior French public prosecutor who spied on journalists' phone calls and SMS records in order to identify their sources while they were reporting on the L'Oréal-Bettencourt affair has been found by France's highest court to have acted illegally.