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.
French filmmaker Christophe Ruggia was on Thursday placed under formal investigation for “sexual assault of a minor” following an investigation opened by the Paris public prosecution services into actress Adèle Haenel's allegations, revealed by Mediapart, that she was sexually harassed by Ruggia over a period when she was aged between 12 and 15.
A French public prosecutor on Friday said Joel Le Scouarnec, 68, a former surgeon due to stand trial in March for rape and assault of four children, is now suspected of sexually assaulting up to 349 children according to evidence found in his computer files and a diary, adding that 229 alleged victims have been questioned, of who 197 have filed complaints against Le Scouarnec.
The trial of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 68, leader of the leftist La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, began on Thursday in which he and five other party members are accused of intimidating police and public prosecution officials during a 2018 search of his home and party offices conducted as part of an investrigation into alleged election funding irregularities.
Richard Ferrand, president of the French lower house, the National Assembly and who is a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron has been placed under investigation over allegations he benefited improperly from the property deals of a health insurance fund he managed.
The Paris prosecution services announced on Friday that they have launched a preliminary investigation into suspected “rape” and “sexual assault”, notably of minors, in connection with the activities in France of the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and others connected to him. The investigation, which has received claims by ten people in France that they were victims or witnesses of sexual violence committed by Epstein and his entourage, will seek not only evidence of crimes that may have been committed in France, but also those involving French victims or perpetrators committed abroad.
Paris prosecution services have launched an investigation to determine whether the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, accused of multiple sex offences before he was found dead in his New York prison cell earlier this month, had committed crimes in France, where he owned and regularly used a luxurious property.
French group Bourbon, a leading player in the field of maritime services and engineering support for the offshore oil and gas extraction industry which employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, is facing dire straits. Weighed down by heavy debts, its holding company was this month placed into receivership, while the group and members of its senior management have been sent for trial on charges of corrupting tax officials in Africa. Meanwhile, French junior minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who until joining government last October sat on the Bourbon board and presided over its audit committee, denies any responsibility in the group’s current woes. Antton Rouget reports.
The Paris prosecution services have launched an investigation into the death in Malaysia of Nora Anne Quoirin, 15, whose remains were found in a rainforest Tuesday, under a legal procedure in France that allows investigations to be opened into any unexplained deaths of French nationals abroad.