ECHR ruling on Bettencourt tapes: a defeat for the freedom of information


The European Court of Human Rights has found that the French state did not violate the principle of freedom of expression by imposing on Mediapart the censorship, in 2013, of 70 articles which revealed the vast criminal scandal of the so-called “Bettencourt affair”, based on tape recordings made by billionaire Liliane Bettencourt’s major-domo. Fabrice Arfi details the case.  

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A ten-year legal battle led by Mediapart and its lawyers on the sidelines of the so-called “Bettencourt affair” – the manipulation of the then elderly L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt by her close entourage – has reached a conclusion before the European Court of Human Rights in what represents a major defeat for the right to inform.