Mystery of vanishing emails as top Macron aide faces ongoing 'conflict of interest' probe

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President Emmanuel Macron's key aide in the Élysée, his chief of staff Alexis Kohler, has faced two investigations into an alleged “conflict of interest” and “influence peddling” over his family links with major shipping line MSC. The first was dropped back in 2018 but another was launched in 2020 and is still ongoing. The current investigation has unearthed some troubling documents for Alexis Kohler, whose official title is secretary-general of the Élysée. Not only do they show him to have been far more involved than thought with issues involving MSC while working as a civil servant, some potentially important documents and emails have also vanished from certain locations - though they have been retrieved elsewhere – in what appears to have been an attempt to remove the paper trail of his interventions. Martine Orange reports on the continuing investigation into President Macron's right-hand man.

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They knew in advance that it would be a sensitive matter and that searching the home of one of France's most important officials, Alexis Kohler, secretary general at the Élysée and President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff, was never going to be an easy task. But investigators did not bargain on having to face quite so many obstacles. On October 6th 2020, when detectives from the police financial crimes unit the Brigade de Répression de la Délinquance Économique (BRDE) arrived at the gates of Le Quai Branly – an annex of the Élysée in Paris – at 6.30am their request to enter was met with a blunt refusal.