France's far-right Front National party has been placed under investigation by Paris magistrates over suspicion it fraudulently placed France-based staff on the European Parliament payroll as assistants to its sitting MEPs.
The financial crime branch of France’s public prosecution services has widened the remit of a judicial investigation into suspected corruption in a sale of French helicopters to Kazakhstan to include the suspected involvement of France’s intelligence services in a plan to protect a businessman close to the Kazakh president from prosecution in Belgium. The move follows revelations by Mediapart and Belgian daily Le Soir of evidence suggesting the intelligence services were manipulated by officials of the French presidency under Nicolas Sarkozy in order to seal the deal worth a total of 2 billion euros. Yann Philippin reports in collaboration with Mediapart's Belgian press partners in this investigation, Alain Lallemand (Le Soir), Thierry Denoël (Le Vif) and Mark Eeckhaut (De Standaard).
France's senior anti-terrorism prosecutor François Molins said on Friday that three men, two of whom security services have identified as 'radicalised Islamists', are to be placed under investigation for their suspected role in attempting to set off a bomb in a wealthy Paris district last Saturday, but that the reason they targeted the apartment building in the capital's 16th arrondissement remained unclear.
The chief of staff and senior bodyguard of France's far-right Front National party leader and presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen were on Wednesday questioned in police custody as part of an investigation into alleged fraudulent payments made to them by Le Pen out of European Parliament funds dedicated to remunerating parliamentary assistants. Le Pen's chief of staff, Catherine Griset, was later placed under formal investigation. The case, which mirrors the scandal surrounding conservative presidential candidate François Fillon, now threatens to become more than a severe embarrassment to Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the election, whose campaign hinges on her image as an anti-establishment alternative to a corrupt political class.
François Fillon, the conservative candidate in this spring's French presidential elections and the subject of a preliminary investigation by prosecutors into alleged fake jobs given to his family, said in a newspaper interview he will continue his campaign 'until victory', appearing to renege on his previous pledge to quit if ever the probe were to place him under formal investigation.
The International Court of Justice ruled it had no legal powers to stop a French probe into suspected moneylaundering by Equatorial Guinea's vice-president Teodorin Obiang, who claims his vast assets, including property and luxury cars in France, come from wealth gained legitimately.
The European Commission said the utility giant, formerly called GDF Suez, may have received significant tax breaks that gave it and unfair advantage over other companies and in breach of EU state aid rules.
A French judicial investigation has described the “active role” played by Arnaud Claude, the partner of Nicolas Sarkozy in a Paris legal firm, Claude & Sarkozy, in helping an MP and longstanding political ally of the former French president, Patrick Balkany, to conceal from the French tax authorities his ownership of a luxurious Moroccan villa estimated to be worth more than 5 million euros. As the investigation draws to a close, the magistrates in charge have ordered the confiscation of a Normandy property belonging to the lawyer, Mediapart has learned. Fabrice Arfi and Mathilde Mathieu report.
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.
Three new arrests were made on Sunday as French investigators attempt to establish whether Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian who drove a heavy truck into Bastille Day crowds in Nice on Thursday, killing 84 people, received help from accomplices in preparing the massacre. Fresh evidence emerged this weekend suggesting he had carefully planned the attack, including CCTV footage of him reconnoitring the scene earlier last week. But despite a claim by the Islamic State group that Bouhlel was a "soldier" for the jihadist group, his motive remained unclear. Meanwhile, French health minister Marisol Touraine said on Sunday that “about 85 people” were still hospitalised after the carnage on July 14th, of which 18, including a child, were in a life-threatening condition. Graham Tearse reports.
France is participating in Egypt-led investigation as it is the country where the Airbus 320 was made and 15 people on board were French.
The probe centres on a 2-million dollar sum allegedly paid to son of former world athletics chief at time of the awarding the 2020 games.
The young woman was watched by users of the live video-streaming app when she jumped into the path of a Paris suburban commuter train.
The move follows accusations relayed by Mediapart and France Inter that Denis Baupin, forced to quit as deputy speaker, assaulted and harassed women politicians.
The probe follows media report that Claude Guéant used France's intelligenc services to spy on a conservative rival in 2012 general elections.