Keyword: Bordeaux

Bettencourt trial: the humiliation, fear and anger of the accused

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Defendant François-Marie Banier at court for the Bettencourt trial. © Reuters Defendant François-Marie Banier at court for the Bettencourt trial. © Reuters

After predictable procedural wrangles – plus some unforeseen delays – the long-awaited Bettencourt trial got under way in Bordeaux last week. Those on trial, who include a former minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's government, stand accused of either directly preying on the frailty of L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt or of profiting from it. Eight of the accused gave evidence during the week, all struggling to hide their dismay at being in the dock. The first was writer and photographer François-Marie Banier, a close confidant of Bettencourt from whom he received some 414 million euros, and who told the court he understands nothing about the world of money and business. “I'm not a spoilt child or a dandy,” he insisted. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan was in court to witness the start of this extraordinary trial.

Row as French football boss suggests African players lack 'intelligence'

Former French player Willy Sagnol also implied that 'typical' footballers from Africa lack disclipline but are powerful and 'ready to fight'.

Former PM Alain Juppé's star rises amid French leadership void

Despite a criminal conviction and failures as a prime minister, polls show Bordeaux mayor is country's most respected politician in office.

Bordeaux recovery boosts French wine yield

Thanks to a dry and warm September France’s wine production could reach 46.5 million hectolitres in 2014, a rise of 10% on last year.

France moves to ban controversial comic

Bordeaux is first city to ban planned show by comedian Dieudonné after interior minister issues tough new guidelines to regional officials.

French couple sued for not helping drunk student who drowned

Mother sues couple who saw her drunk son and who 'laughed at him, filmed him with a smartphone and let him leave' rather than help him.

 

Chinese magnate in helicopter crash after buying Bordeaux vinyard

Lam Kok, owner of Hong Kong-based hotel group Brilliant, and three others feared dead in crash while touring the vinyard just hours after buying it.

Rotting grapes from Bordeaux to Burgundy cut French wine outlook

Production forecasts lowered after rot due to wet weather causes grape losses, adding to damage from poor flowering and summer hailstorms.

Bettencourt affair: Sarkozy 'secret cash' case dropped

Former president will not stand trial on allegations - which he denied - that he abused frailty of L'Oréal heiress to get election campaign funds.

Four found dead in Bordeaux hotel room

A couple were found hanged and their children aged 13 and 16 had been poisoned, according to police who are investigating the family 'tragedy'.

Nicolas Sarkozy put under investigation for 'exploiting' L'Oréal heiress: the French Right cry foul

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Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been dramatically placed under formal investigation for allegedly abusing the mental frailty of billionaire L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. It followed a second round of questioning by judges in Bordeaux investigating the Bettencourt affair, which involves claims of political corruption and abuse of power. The news has caused fury on the Right, however, who insist that it is a politically-motivated decision coming just days after the resignation of budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, who is also facing an investigation.

Château d’Yquem scraps 2012 vintage due to rain

The wine estate near Bordeaux will not release a 2012 vintage of its famous sweet Sauternes wine after heavy rains spoiled quality of harvest.

Polish builders raze Bordeaux chateau 'by accident'

The former French owner of an 18th century Bordeaux chateau razed to the ground by Polish builders has said her family is 'traumatised'.

French presidents come and go, investigating magistrates remain

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When Nicolas Sarkozy descended the central courthouse buildings in Bordeaux on the morning of November 22nd, entering an underground office to be questioned by magistrates leading investigations into the wide-ranging corruption allegations surrounding the affairs of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, the former French president faced a humbling moment in more ways than one. For not only did he find himself in exactly the same situation as his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, whose corruption-tainted years he had promised to break with, his interrogation over suspected illegal financing of his 2007 election campaign was carried out by members of the French judicial corps known as investigating magistrates which he had, when president, attempted to disband. Michel Deléan reports.

Bordeaux up in arms over US wine makers' 'château' pretensions

Bordeaux wine houses see red red over US wine producers attempts to use 'château' label descriptions on wines shipped to Europe.