PARIS (AP) - The Paris prosecutors office says it is opening a preliminary investigation into allegations that France's budget minister hid money from French tax authorities in offshore accounts.
A statement Tuesday from the prosecutors' office said it also intends to open a probe for defamation based on a complaint over the allegations filed by Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac.
The online newspaper Mediapart alleged in December that Cahuzac had a secret Swiss bank account until 2010, when the funds were transferred to Singapore.
Cahuzac has led the Socialist government's crackdown on tax evasion _ part of a larger effort to bring in funds to cut France's deficit.
A preliminary investigation means the case can ultimately be dropped, or charges filed.
A surgeon by training, Cahuzac served as a lawmaker before his ministerial appointment.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
A funeral home offers a bicycle hearse and a casket that's a basket.
Wounded vets say Segways help them see the world at eye level.
Fans have hooked up RG3 and his fiancee for their wedding.
An 18-year-old creates a tiny device that charges a phone quickly. (Video)