The hidden tragedy of migrants crossing north through Africa

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French medics treating a migrant who survived kidnapping in Libya © Aurélien Sigwalt French medics treating a migrant who survived kidnapping in Libya © Aurélien Sigwalt

Behind the fate of thousands of migrants who have died while attempting to cross by sea to Europe lies the even greater tragedy of those who perish on the overland journey through Africa to reach the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, according to estimates of UN agency the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Those who survive the trying conditions of the clandestine routes north from sub-Saharan countries face further danger in Libya, where many are herded into detention centres amid appalling conditions, while others fall victim to kidnappers. Carine Fouteau reports.

Libyan funding of Sarkozy election campaign: a damning police report

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Nicolas Sarkozy and his right-hand man Claude Guéant, March 27th, 2012. © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy and his right-hand man Claude Guéant, March 27th, 2012. © Reuters

Police officers from France's fraud squad the OCLCIFF have produced a preliminary and damning report into the claims that the Libyan regime under Muammar Gaddafi funded the 2007 presidential election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy. It raises questions about the role of Éric Woerth who at the time was treasurer of Sarkozy's campaign, later became a minister and is now president of the finance committee at the National Assembly. Meanwhile judges have ordered the seizure of properties belonging to Sarkozy's former chief-of-staff and right-hand man, Claude Guéant. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Airbus's 80 million-euro golden parachute to former executive

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Jean-Paul Gut, director of EADS International and group strategy until June 2007. © dr Jean-Paul Gut, director of EADS International and group strategy until June 2007. © dr

The former commercial director of EADS – now Airbus – Jean-Paul Gut, who set up the commercial and marketing system that is now at the centre of parallel corruption investigations by French and British police, received a 'golden parachute' of around 80 million euros, it can be revealed. A joint investigation by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel also shows that the European aerospace group was willing to continue using Gut as a highly-paid consultant even after he left his lucrative post in 2007.

Why nuclear weapons must be abolished

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches a missile launch in a photo issued on September 16, 2017, by that country's official news agency. © KCNA North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches a missile launch in a photo issued on September 16, 2017, by that country's official news agency. © KCNA

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of hundreds of NGOs from dozens of countries, puts in stark relief the irresponsibility of those states – including France – who base their security on dissuasion by terror. Mediapart’s publishing editor and co-founder Edwy Plenel argues that far from keeping the peace, nuclear weapons spread the risk of a terrible catastrophe, as the current Korean crisis shows.

President Macron plays waiting game in long-awaited TV interview

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In his first set-piece television interview since becoming France's president in May, Emmanuel Macron was in unrepentant mood, refusing to apologise over a string of controversial remarks which he now claims have been misunderstood. Speaking on the privately-owned TF1 television station, the centrist president also said the country would have to wait for up to two years for his reforms to take effect. Hubert Huertas analyses President Macron's much-anticipated television appearance.

The bitter infighting behind the election of UNESCO's new director general

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Audrey Azouley at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, October 13th 2017. © Reuters Audrey Azouley at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, October 13th 2017. © Reuters

Former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay was elected as the new director general of UNESCO on Friday, in a narrow victory over her Qatari rival Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari. Azoulay’s election to the top post at the UN science, education and culture agency was the result of a profound divide among its Arab member states, and served a severe blow to Qatar’s ambitions of influence on the world stage. René Backmann witnessed first-hand the tensions during the six rounds of voting, which at one point almost ended in a fist fight, and in this report of the events he analyses the tough tasks ahead for Azoulay amid the decision by the US and Israel to quit the organisation.

'He finished them off like dogs': Paris Merah trial hears survivors of Jewish school massacre

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The trial continued this week of Abdelkader Merah and Fettah Malki, both accused of complicity in the crimes of Mohamed Merah, the Islamist terrorist brother of Abdelkader Merah who murdered seven people in and around the city of Toulouse, southern France, in March 2012. Both men have denied the charges. The court hearings, which opened on October 2nd, have been marked by ill-tempered verbal exchanges, while a lawyer for Abdelkader Merah has claimed to have received death threats. But the rowdy debates suddenly fell silent this week when witnesses took to the stand to recount Merah’s massacre of a rabbi and three children, aged 3, 5 and 8, at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Matthieu Suc was in court to hear their harrowing testimony.

The evidence implicating Airbus CEO Tom Enders in Eurofighter 'slush fund'

By Martine Orange, Yann Philippin et Lea Fauth
Airbus Group CEO Thomas Enders. © Reuters Airbus Group CEO Thomas Enders. © Reuters

A joint investigation by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel reveals here how Airbus Group chief executive Thomas Enders has become personally implicated in allegations that the aerospace giant created a slush fund to pay intermediaries secret commissions, and “sweeteners” to politicians, in order to obtain a contract for the sale of 18 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Austria. Martine Orange, Yann Philippin and Lea Fauth report.

The devious manoeuvres behind ex-Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo's trial at ICC

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Laurent Gbagbo appearing before the ICC court in The Hague on Febraury 19th 2013. © Michael Kooren/Reuters Laurent Gbagbo appearing before the ICC court in The Hague on Febraury 19th 2013. © Michael Kooren/Reuters

In April 2011, former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, at the centre of a political crisis that followed disputed elections in the country five months earlier, was captured with French help by militiamen acting for his rival, Alassane Ouattara, the country’s current leader. A confidential French foreign ministry document obtained by Mediapart reveals how International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, without any legal basis, was involved in an operation to keep Gbagbo prisoner – five months before the ICC had even opened an investigation into his alleged crimes against humanity, for which he is now on trial in The Hague. Fanny Pigeaud reports on a covert operation in which the ICC appears to have played a key role France’s political manoeuvring in its former West African colony.

The secret double-dealing in Kenyatta 'crimes against humanity' case

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Luis Moreno Ocampo and his successor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, June 2012. © Reuters Luis Moreno Ocampo and his successor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, June 2012. © Reuters

In 2010, the International Criminal Court began proceedings against six Kenyan officials, including the country’s current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, of crimes against humanity over their responsibility in the deaths of more than 1,100 people, the displacement of an estimated 350,000 others, and rapes and persecutions which followed contested presidential election results in late 2007. But, as revealed by confidential documents obtained by Mediapart and analysed together with its media partners in the European Investigative Collaborations consortium, the ICC cases fell apart due in large part to the weakness of the investigation led by chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo who, after bringing charges against Kenyatta, subsequently campaigned behind the scenes for the Kenyan leader to escape prosecution. Stéphanie Maupas reports.

Domestic entourage behind most murders of women in France: study

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More than half of the murders of women in France in 2015, excluding victims of terrorist attacks, were committed by members of their domestic entourage, and of these the majority were carried out by current or former husbands and partners. The startling figures emerge from a study by an official French statistics agency, which found that women most at risk from their domestic environment are aged between 15 and 35 and live in rural areas. Louise Fessard reports.

 

Former ICC prosecutor's lucrative links with Libyan billionaire and ex-ally of Gaddafi

By and Hanneke Chin-A-Fo (NRC)
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, military strongman in Libya, a potential war crimes suspect. © Reuters Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, military strongman in Libya, a potential war crimes suspect. © Reuters

In 2015 the former chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court defended the interests of a billionaire businessman with links to the former Gaddafi regime and who was a supporter of potential war criminals in Libya. Luis Moreno Ocampo, who had left the ICC in The Hague just three years before, was paid a total of 750,000 dollars for his work, Mediapart and European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) can reveal in their 'The Secrets of the Court' investigation. Moreno Ocampo denies any wrongdoing and says he was simply advising the businessman, Hassan Tatanaki, to be cautious in his dealings with a faction involved in the Libyan civil war. Stéphanie Maupas and Hanneke Chin-A-Fo, from NRC Handelsblad in Holland, report.

How chief prosecutor at International Criminal Court owned companies in tax havens

By and Sven Becker (DER SPIEGEL)
Luis Moreno Ocampo at the ICC in The Hague on March 3rd, 2011. © Jerry Lampen/Reuters Luis Moreno Ocampo at the ICC in The Hague on March 3rd, 2011. © Jerry Lampen/Reuters

Luis Moreno Ocampo managed companies based in some of the most notorious tax havens in the world while serving as chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, documents obtained by Mediapart and analysed by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) reveal. When challenged about his offshore financial activities the former star prosecutor said that his salary at the ICC “was not enough”. Mediapart's head of investigations Fabrice Arfi and Sven Becker of German publication Der Spiegel report.

Inside the International Criminal Court: revelations on its former top prosecutor

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It is the largest ever leak of information about the workings of the International Criminal Court, the body tasked with bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide to justice. More than 40,000 confidential documents – including diplomatic cables, correspondence and bank information – have been obtained by Mediapart and analysed by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). They shine a stark light on the work of the ICC and in particular the role of its first chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, his dreams, his actions and his offshore companies. Fabrice Arfi and Stéphanie Maupas report on 'The Secrets of the Court'.

French plans to tax online giants face real-world obstacles

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France is spearheading a plan to tax the turnover of internet giants that manage to avoid paying corporate taxes on profits in European countries where they operate. But despite its bold appearance, and the backing of seven other countries, the plan is beset by political and highly technical problems. And even at this embryonic stage it has little chance of succeeding, writes Romaric Godin.