Over the past two weeks a number of Muslim figures and organisations in France, together with anti-racist militants, have become increasingly vocal in calling for the release from preventive detention of prominent Islamic intellectual, scholar and preacher Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, who was earlier this month placed under investigation for two rapes. His supporters argue that he is subject to unusually harsh treatment, that his state of health has not been properly taken into account, with some also throwing doubt on the veracity of the accounts of his alleged victims. But, as Louise Fessard reports, the support leant to Ramadan has opened deep divisions among French Muslims, with questions raised over the motivations of the campaigners.
A preliminary investigation opened last month after a woman filed a lawsuit accusing budget minister Gérald Darmanin of raping her in 2009 has been dropped after no evidence was found of 'coercion, threat, surprise or violence' the Paris prosecution services announced on Friday.
French government colleagues of the budget and public accounts minister, Gérald Darmanin, have defended his right to remain in his post while awaiting the findings of an investigation into a complaint launched against him for his alleged rape in 2009 of a woman who had asked him for help in a legal case concerning her, an accusation he has denied.
The French finance ministry has launched an investigation into the legality of a sales promotion of hazlenut spread Nutella by a national retail chain which slashed prices by 70 percent, prompting fights and wild behaviour by shoppers in some stores, who witnesses said behaved 'like animals'.
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.