Judge rejects plea bargain deal for French billionaire Vincent Bolloré in corruption case

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The businessman had negotiated a deal with the French financial prosecution unit, the Parquet National Financier, under the terms of which he would have only received a fine of 375,000 euros over a corruption case in West Africa. But on Friday February 26th a court in Paris rejected the plea bargain agreement, ruling that it was too favourable to Vincent Bolloré, whose group has a string of economic interests in African countries. Fabrice Arfi and Yann Philippin report.

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It is a slap in the face for both French businessman Vincent Bolloré and the French financial crimes prosecution unit the Parquet National Financier (PNF). On Friday February 26th a court in Paris refused to approve a plea bargain agreement that had been thrashed out between the billionaire and prosecutors at the PNF. The deal had been intended to bring an end to a judicial investigation opened back in 2012 into Bolloré's alleged corruption of two African presidents in exchange for extending the businessman's concession at the port of Lomé in Togo in West Africa.