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.
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.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into a suspected money laundering operation involving Qatari Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s French investment arm, French Properties Management (FPM), Mediapart can reveal. The probe, prompted by information from a whistleblowing former employee of FPM, is the latest to target the activities of the Paris-based firm, which is also cited in two other separate judicial investigations in France for “misuse of company assets” and “corruption and influence peddling”. Yann Philippin reports.