Mediapart journalists to stand trial for revealing what the butler heard


The publication by Mediapart of carefully selected contents of secretly taped conversations between L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her close circle of financial and legal advisors led to a major political scandal and a judicial investigation in which former president Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under investigation for taking advantage of the billionaire’s frail mental health. Mediapart published only what it considered to be in the public interest, exposing evidence of political corruption, money laundering and interference by the executive powers in the proper workings of the judicial system. But now magistrates have sent for trial journalists from Mediapart and French weekly magazine Le Point on charges of breaching personal privacy laws by revealing the recordings, which were made by Bettencourt's butler. Michel Deléan reports.

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Magistrates in charge of several investigations into a series of suspected corruption scams surrounding the financial affairs of 90 year-old L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, Europe’s wealthiest woman, have decided to send for trial her former butler and five journalists, including Mediapart’s editor-in chief Edwy Plenel, on charges relating to breach of privacy.