French billionaire Serge Dassault secretly recorded saying he paid money to 'buy' election win

By , and Pascale Pascariello

The leading French industrialist and media owner Serge Dassault has been secretly recorded on video admitting that he paid out a huge sum of money to help 'buy' a local election in a town where he was once mayor. Billionaire Dassault, one of the wealthiest men in France and a French senator, makes the assertion in a recording obtained by Mediapart and parts of which are published here. 'I gave the money,' he is heard saying to two men who asked him about the cash – 1.7 million euros in all - while they clandestinely recorded him. Mediapart has also established that three months after the video was made the two men concerned were shot and wounded, one of them seriously. Contacted by Mediapart about the tape Serge Dassault said he had no comment. Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Pascale Pascariello report.

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The leading French industrialist and media owner Serge Dassault has been secretly recorded on video admitting that he paid out money to help win a local election where he was once mayor. The 88-year-old billionaire Dassault, who runs the defence, aviation, media and property empire the Dassault Group and who is also a UMP senator in the French Parliament, makes the admission in a video recording obtained by Mediapart and parts of which are published here (see below) in audio form.