The disturbing case of French journalists’ ‘blackmail’ of Moroccan king


In a case as bizarre as it is unusual, two French journalists were last month arrested in a luxurious Paris hotel on suspicion of the attempted blackmail of Morocco's King Mohammed VI. Éric Laurent and Catherine Graciet are accused by the Moroccan authorities of demanding 3 million euros in exchange for not publishing their book of damaging revelations about the Rabat regime. Mediapart has obtained access to documents from the French judicial investigation which demonstrate that the case is far more complex than it first appeared. Sting or set-up? Michel Deléan reports.

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On August 27th, French journalists Éric Laurent and Catherine Graciet were arrested by police as they left the plush Hotel Raphael, close to the avenue des Champs-Elysées in central Paris. They were immediately detained for questioning by police and subsequently placed under investigation (a legal status one step short of being charged) for attempting to blackmail and extort funds from King Mohammed VI of Morocco.