In the last week four cases of alleged corruption, fraud, abuse of position or negligence involving prominent figures in French society have ended with no one being punished. In two cases the defendants were acquitted, in another no sentence was passed, while in the investigation concerning former government minister and current head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, the prosecution said the case should be dropped. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan considers whether the French justice system is giving way when faced with certain high-profile political and financial cases – and if so, why.
The hardline right-winger spent more than half a century at the heart of French politics in a career dogged by funding scandals.
Oil giant Total and its CEO are to stand trial on charges that the company engaged in corruption during UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq.