In what is the first legal move of its kind in France, oil and gas and giant TotalEnergies, the former Total, is the subject of an investigation by French public prosecutors which was opened after three NGOs filed a complaint accusing the group of “misleading commercial practices”. The complaint centres on the multinational’s claims over its credentials in policies for environmental protection and the limiting of global warming, including being a “major player” in energy transition, which the NGOs say amounts to deliberately deceptive “greenwashing”. Mickaël Correia reports.
France's prosecution services specialised in financial crimes have confirmed that a current investigation into potential tax fraud by the US-based consultancy giant McKinsey has been widened to include involvement by consultancy companies in Emmanuel Macron's two successful presidential election campaigns in 2017 and 2022.
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.
A report by the European Union’s anti-fraud agency OLAF, now passed on to the French public prosecution services, accuses Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate who will face Emmanuel Macron in this month’s presidential election final round, of the fraudulent misuse of 137,000 euros of public funds she received from the European Parliament when she was an MEP, Mediapart can reveal. Other individuals close to her are also accused by OLAF of defrauding the parliament. Marine Turchi and Fabrice Arfi report.
An independent commission investigating child sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church has made a 'minimum estimate' that up to 3,200 paedophile priests and other church members have been active since 1950, the commission's chairman has revealed ahead of the presentation on Tuesday of a 2,500-page report, based on church, court and police archives as well as witness interviews.
Several French police officers, including a commissioner, two commanders and a brigadier, face being disciplined over a “series of failures” in the case of a woman who had filed a complaint for violence against her husband who is accused of later shooting her in the street and then setting her on fire with petrol.
Francois Fillon, 67, who served as French prime minister throughout the 2007-2012 presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, and who has appealed his conviction last year for fraudulently employing his wife, paid out of public funds, as a parliamentary assistant, is again being investigated for the suspected use of a parliamentary assistant to write a book he published in 2015.
The Paris prosecution services have advised that a judicial investigation into the alleged complicity of French troops in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda of Tutsis by Hutu extremists be dropped for lack of evidence.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was subjected to four days of questioning earlier this month by judges leading a complex investigation into evidence of Libyan funding of his 2007 election campaign, at the end of which he was formally placed under investigation for “criminal conspiracy”. Mediapart has obtained access to the transcripts of the interrogation, during which he insisted on his innocence and laid responsibility for any wrongdoing on his two longstanding, loyal right-hand men, Claude Guéant and Brice Hortefeux, describing their dealings with Libya and intermediaries as, variously, “incomprehensible”, an “error” and a “mistake”. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
Former French prime minister Édouard Philippe, who stepped down on Friday to become mayor of the town of Le Havre, former health minister Agnès Buzyn and her successor Olivier Véran, are to be investigated over their handling of the Covid-19 virus epidemic after a special court for judging members of government over wrongdoing while in office accepted nine complaints lodged against them.
The flight recorders from the Pakistan International Airlines' Airbus which crashed short of the runway at Karachi airport on May 22nd, killing 97 people on board, have been sent to France for examinsation by the country's air accident investigation agency, the BEA.
In an interview with The New York Times while in temporary exile in Italy, author Gabriel Matzneff, once celebrated by Parisian literary circles for his accounts of sex with underage girls and boys in France and abroad, and who is now under investigation in France for the sexual abuse and grooming of a minor, said he felt 'like the living dead, a dead man walking', turning on his former admirers for 'showing their cowardice', and accusing those who now denounce him of hypocracy.
The chief Paris prosecutor on Tuesday appealed for past victims of sexual abuse by author Gabriel Matzneff, 83, once revered by French lierati for his books about his sexual adventures with young minors, to come forward in the framework of an investigation into accustaions of sexual abuse and grooming of a minor made against him in a book published in January.
One of the key suspects in the marathon judicial probe into alleged funding of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign by the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was this weekend placed in preventive detention in France after losing a two-year legal battle to avoid his extradition from Britain. French judges have formally placed Alexandre Djouhri under investigation for nine alleged offences, including “active corruption”, aiding and abetting, and receiving, the proceeds of the “misappropriation of public funds”, “money laundering the proceeds of corruption”, “forgery and the use of forgeries” and “tax fraud”. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
by Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske
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