French magistrates on Friday designated International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as an ‘assisted witness’ in their investigation into the conditions of a payout, when she was French finance minister, of more than 400 million euros to controversial tycoon Bernard Tapie. Mediapart has learnt from several well-placed sources the reasons why the judges backed off from placing her under formal investigation, a move originally favoured by two of the three magistrates leading the investigation. These are said to include an extraordinary last-minute public statement in support of Lagarde by French finance minister Pierre Moscovici (pictured top left with Lagarde), and a reported change to her previous account that she managed the Tapie case without interference from the presidential office.
IMF chief Lagarde escapes being formally placed under investigation over her role in a controversial 400M-euro payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie.
French magistrates have opened an investigation into alleged illegal solicitation of clients and money laundering by the HSBC bank.
Lawyer overseeing case against former president for alleged abuse of frailty of Liliane Bettencourt denies reports he recommends dropping charges.
The long-running judicial investigations into suspected criminal activity surrounding the affairs of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, centred on money-laundering, illegal political funding, fraud, tax evasion, influence peddling and profiteering from the billionaire’s frail mental condition, finally came to a close on March 28th, exactly one week after former president Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under investigation in the case on the basis of “serious or concordant” evidence that he “abused” Bettencourt’s diminished mental faculties. Michel Deléan reports on the winding up of an investigation that will in all probability lead to one of the most spectacular corruption trials in recent French history, set against a backdrop of high-society drama and deep political intrigue.
Jean-Louis Gentil is targeted by death threats over his investigation into suspected illegal financing of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign.
Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni tells French radio it is 'unthinkable' that he could have abused the frailty of a woman who was his mother's age.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been dramatically placed under formal investigation for allegedly abusing the mental frailty of billionaire L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. It followed a second round of questioning by judges in Bordeaux investigating the Bettencourt affair, which involves claims of political corruption and abuse of power. The news has caused fury on the Right, however, who insist that it is a politically-motivated decision coming just days after the resignation of budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, who is also facing an investigation.
If found guilty former French president could face jail and fine for 'taking advantage' of Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy was hauled back before a judge over claims he accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from France's richest woman.
The resignation of budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac after a full judicial investigation was launched over his Swiss bank account sent shock waves through the ruling Socialist Party. Many MPs refuse to believe that their colleague has lied over the affair. Others want to turn the page as quickly as possible and put the matter behind them. But as Mathieu Magnaudeix, Stéphane Alliès and Lénaïg Bredoux report, one thing that is certain is that the resignation has not improved the mood in the ruling party, where one MP likened the current situation to a football match in which his side is being hammered...
As finance minister, she referred his long-running dispute with bank Credit Lyonnais to an arbitration panel which awarded him 400m euros damages.
French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac (pictured) has resigned after it was announced on Tuesday that a full-blown independent judicial investigation has been opened into evidence he held an undisclosed bank account in Switzerland. The events follow the authentication by forensic police of a tape, first revealed by Mediapart, on which he is heard discussing the account, which he has hitherto denied holding. Announcing the opening of a judicial investigation, the Paris public prosecutor's office said an examining magistrate will now seek the cooperation of the authorities in Switzerland and in Singapore, to where funds from the account were allegedly transferred. It also revealed the investigation will pursue claims that money paid into Cahuzac's account came from pharmaceutical companies.
Investigation to see if the ex-president violated a confidentiality law when the Elysee published a press release on the affair in September 2011.
French police investigating the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have questioned his widow Suha, who claims he may have been poisoned.