Alexis Kohler

Macron's top aide Alexis Kohler under investigation over 'unlawful conflict of interest'

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair

On September 23rd the president's chief of staff was placed under formal investigation for “unlawful conflict of interest” over claims he hid his family ties to the MSC shipping line and intervened in its favour on several occasions  while working as a senior civil servant. Alexis Kohler has also been placed under the status of “assisted witness” for “influence peddling” in relation to the same case. As Martine Orange reports, the news comes after the Élysée spent five years trying – in vain - to bury the case.

Macron's chief of staff under investigation over conflict of interest

France — Link

Alexis Kohler, chief of staff of the French presidential office, the Élysée Palace, and a long-serving aide to President Emmanuel Macron, has been placed under investigation for 'unlawful taking of interest' over his undisclosed family and professional ties to an Italian-Swiss shipping company when working for the French state holdings agency and as a senior official on Macron's team at the finance ministry.

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

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair — Investigation

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.

How Macron's chief of staff was cleared over probe after president intervened

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair — Investigation

President Emmanuel Macron intervened personally in an investigation into a potential conflict of interest involving his chief of staff, Alexis Kohler, Mediapart can reveal. In the summer of 2019 a statement from the president was sent to France's financial crimes prosecution unit clearing Kohler's name after detectives investigating the case had written a damning report. Following President Macron's intervention, a second police report was written which reached very different conclusions. A month later, the whole case was dropped. Martine Orange investigates a move by the president which appears to breach the doctrine of the separation of powers between the government and the judicial system.

Doubts over real motive for French government probe of judge who fights corruption


Éric Alt, the vice-president of the non-governmental anti-corruption organisation ANTICOR, is also a judge. He is now being investigated by a judicial watchdog over comments he made in his role as an ANTICOR activist about a corruption case in Corsica, and also his participation in another case involving a senior ally of President Emmanuel Macron. As Michel Deléan reports, questions are being raised about whether the French government has targeted Alt because of its displeasure over ANTICOR's role in high-profile cases.

The threat to France's fight against white collar crime and corruption

France — Investigation

Concerns have been raised privately within the French justice system about the involvement of the government and in particular the Élysée in picking the successor to Éliane Houlette as head of the country's national financial crimes prosecution unit, the Parquet National Financier (PNF). This is because the PNF is currently handling two investigations which are particularly sensitive for the presidency. One is into the Russian security contracts involving former Élysée security aide Alexandre Benalla. The other probe is into President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff Alexis Kohler over an alleged conflict of interest. Fabrice Arfi, Michel Deléan and Antton Rouget report.

French Senate advises prosecution probe into Macron aides

France — Link

In one of the sharpest confrontations in years between France’s powerful executive and its parliament, the Senate announced on Thursday it had referred Macron’s top aide Alexis Kohler, his chief of staff Patrick Strzoda and Lionel Lavergne, the Elysée’s top security official, to prosecutors for withholding information from an investigation into Macron’s former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla.

Macron weakened by departures from entourage

France — Analysis

The head of communications at the Élysée has just announced that he is to leave his post by the end of January. Sylvain Fort, who is close to Emmanuel Macron having worked alongside him for more than two years, proclaimed his “total loyalty” to the French president. But this and reports of other possible departures from the president's inner circle have further weakened a presidency which is embroiled in the affair involving former security aide Alexandre Benalla and the ongoing social movement carried out by the so-called from the yellow vest protestors. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

Just 17 months after election, Macron's Élysée already has an 'end of reign' atmosphere

France — Analysis

A series of controversial affairs involving key staff, some surprise resignations, comments from senior figures in his own administration and dysfunctional behaviour at all levels of government have left President Emmanuel Macron weaker than ever after the summer. There is growing concern inside his entourage where many now recognise that the presidency has a problem; and that this problem involves the president himself. Ellen Salvi reports.

Macron security aide affair: Alexandre Benalla says he concealed evidence

France — Investigation

Paris prosecutors have refused to broaden the scope of the investigation of the Alexandre Benalla affair into claims that evidence in the case was concealed. This is despite the fact that, according to documents seen by Mediapart, President Emmanuel Macron's former security aide himself claimed that he had arranged for evidence to be hidden. The affair concerns claims – backed by video footage – that Benalla and another official unlawfully took part in the arrest of a May Day demonstrator in a Paris park earlier this year. Pascale Pascariello, Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Proof of Macron chief of staff’s lie over family links to shipping firm

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair — Investigation

Contrary to what he has stated, President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff Alexis Kohler has not always revealed his family links to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), and in his duties as a senior public servant has not always stood aside from issues involving the giant Italian-Swiss shipping firm. Official documents from the major French port of Le Havre, seen by Mediapart, show that Kohler took part in discussions and votes concerning the company while he sat on the port's Supervisory Board as a civil servant from 2010 to 2012. Laurent Mauduit and Martine Orange investigate.

Mystery of the giant shipping line linked to President Macron's chief of staff

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair — Investigation

Why was Alexis Kohler, who is now secretary general at the Elysee and chief of staff to President Emmanuel Macron, so keen to become finance director at the shipping firm MSC and its cruise company subsidiary MSC Cruises? Yes, the Italian-Swiss group is world number two in maritime freight, is a major cruise company and controls a number of port terminals. But it also uses tax havens and practices tax avoidance, keeps its business confidential and operates in an environment where dangerous shadows lurk. Martine Orange and Cecilia Ferrara investigate.

French police search economy ministry in Macron aide probe

France — Link

Police acting for France's financial crime prosecution services on Wednesday searched offices in the economy and finance ministry as part of an investigation into a complaint lodged against President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff for suspected influence peddling and conflict of interest when he was one of the ministry's most senior civil servants.

Why Macron's chief of staff is target of corruption probe

In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair — Investigation

The French prosecution services have launched an investigation into suspected corruption by President Emmanuel Macron’s chief of staff Alexis Kohler, following an official complaint lodged by anti-corruption NGO Anticor. The complaint cited revelations last month by Mediapart into Kohler’s role, when he was a senior civil servant, in affairs in which the interests of a shipping company owned by members of his close family were at stake. Mediapart’s Martine Orange, who first broke the story, details here the background to the case that now threatens the downfall of the man described by French daily Le Monde as “the most powerful senior civil servant in France”.

Macron chief of staff subject of corruption probe

France — Link

The French public prosecution services have opened an investigation into corruption allegations against President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff, Alexis Kohler, which centre on suspected conflict of interest and influence peddling over his close connections with a major shipping company while serving as a senior civil servant.