François Molins

‘You live through unimaginable events’: prosecutor François Molins on the November 2015 Paris terror attacks

France — Interview

The trial of 20 people accused of various roles in the series of terrorist attacks in Paris during the evening of November 13th 2015, which claimed the lives of 130 people and wounded more than 400 others, opens on Wednesday. In this interview with Mediapart's Matthieu Suc, the public prosecutor then in charge of the investigations, François Molins, recalls the night of the attacks, the aftermath and distress for victims’ families, and reflects on the successes and failures of France’s efforts to counter terrorism.

How the Balladur verdict highlights fatal flaws of CJR - France's ministerial court

France — Analysis

On Thursday March 4th 2021 the Cour de Justice de la République (CJR) – which tries cases of alleged ministerial misconduct – cleared former French prime minister Édouard Balladur of any wrongdoing in the long-running Karachi affair. At the same time it found Balladur's former defence minister François Léotard guilty of complicity in the misuse of assets and handed him a two-year suspended prison sentence. The verdicts were much more lenient than those for ministerial aides in the earlier criminal trial involving the same affair. Karl Laske wonders how long the hybrid CJR court, most of whose 'judges' are politicians, can survive.

Prosecutor recommends former French PM and minister stand trial for alleged corruption scam

France — Investigation

Senior public prosecutor François Molins has concluded that former French prime minister Édouard Balladur and the defence minister who served under him, François Léotard, should be sent for trial for siphoning payments from public weapons contracts with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to fund Balladur’s presidential election campaign. Molins’s formal recommendations follow a lengthy judicial investigation into what has become known in France as “the Karachi affair”, a complex and far-reaching alleged corruption scam which surfaced after the murders of 11 French naval engineers in the Pakistani port city in 2002.

Release of 40 radicalised inmates is 'major risk' to France

France — Link

Prosecutor said 20 prisoners of this profile are to be released in 2018 and 20 in 2019, and called for police, state and intelligence services action.

Prosecutor says arrests disrupted ‘imminent’ IS attack in France

France — Link

Five men arrested last Sunday are said to be Islamic State operatives planning attack under the direction of a commander based in Iraq and Syria.

Paris gas canister car: arrested women 'directed by IS in Syria'

France — Link

Paris prosecutor François Molins, who said a terror cell had been dismantled, said it showed Islamic State 'wants to create female fighters'.

Nice truck driver planned attack, had accomplices, says prosecutor

France — Link

The Tunisian who on July 14th killed 84 people among crowds on Promenade des Anglais had carefully prepared attack says Paris public prosecutor.

Prosecutor details latest evidence in Nice attack probe

France — Link

Paris public prosecutor says Bastille Day killer appeared recently drawn to jihadists but no proof of any 'allegiance or any direct link' to terrorist organisations.

The French government's war on encryption

France — Analysis

In recent months politicians and some senior legal figures in France have spoken out against the practice of encryption to protect people's data, emails and mobile phone calls, claiming it hampers investigations into crime and above all terrorism. Mediapart can reveal that a policy to force companies to leave so-called “backdoors” in their software to enable the security forces to bypass encryption was close to being adopted by the French government. But the data privacy watchdog in France warns that such measures would put people's computer security at even greater risk at a time of an increasing number of cyber threats. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

France probe foiled attack plot suspect Reda Kriket

France — Link

Officials say act of 'extreme violence' foiled after police found cache of assault rifles, handguns and TATP explosive at 34-year-old's flat.

Arrested Paris attacks fugitive 'to sue French prosecutor'

International — Link

Lawyer for Salah Abdeslam, held in Belgium and fighting extradition to France, said weekend comments by French official violated probe's confidentiality.

Salah Abdeslam 'backed out of Stade de France suicide bombing'

International — Link

The November Paris attacks fugitive, arrested in Brussels on Friday, told Belgian police he had 'wanted to blow himself up' at football match.

How French PM was 'evacuated' from his home close to terror attacks


Mediapart can reveal how during the Paris terror attacks on Friday night security service agents hastily removed France's prime minister Manuel Valls from his home which is just 300 metres from the scene of one of the restaurant shootings. At the same time, however, witnesses have complained that it took police around ten minutes to arrive at the scenes of the shootings as the gunmen rapidly made their murderous passage through the capital without once encountering a police unit. Karl Laske and Louise Fessard report.

Fate of Paris attacks 'mastermind' unknown says prosecutor

France — Link

Official says Abdelhamid Abaaoud not among 8 people arrested but that not all those who died in police raid had yet been identified.

Did French train terror suspect slip through European security net?

France — Analysis

The man arrested after a thwarted attack on a train last Friday was known to intelligence agencies in several countries, including France. Yet Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25, was still able to board a busy Paris-bound train after acquiring an assault rifle and ammunition. Michel Deléan and Louise Fessard ask if European secret services again let a potential terrorist through the net – or whether surveillance on so many potential suspects is simply impossible.