France's top tax official on trial for fraud
Former French budget minister is going on trial for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world while he was the country's top official in charge of fighting tax evasion.
Jerome Cahuzac is facing charges of tax fraud and money laundering that saw him resign in 2013 in one of the biggest political scandals under President Francois Hollande.
The 64-year-old former cosmetic surgeon is accused of concealing at least €687,000 (NZ$1.048 million) in income from tax authorities in 2009-2012.
He's also accused of laundering money in 2003-2013 through foreign bank accounts in Switzerland and Singapore and dummy companies in Panama and the Seychelles.
Cahuzac, who acknowledged evading taxes for two decades, faces up to seven years in prison and a €1 million (NZ$1.52m) fine if convicted.
His ex-wife, Patricia Menard, a 60-year-old dermatologist, is accused of hiding €2.5 million (NZ$3.8m) from French tax authorities until 2013.
She is also accused of laundering money in the British tax haven of the Isle of Man and in Switzerland, allowing her to buy two London apartments estimated at around €3 million euros overall.