Keyword: Nicolas Sarkozy

Ex-Sarkozy chief-of-staff Claude Guéant convicted of polling fraud

Already detained in jail over a previous conviction for misuse of public funds, Claude Guéant, a former interior minister and longstanding chief-of-staff for ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was on Friday handed a one-year prison sentence, with four months suspended, for his part in an Élysée Palace opinion survey fraud worth a combined 7.5 million euros, for which three others were also convicted.  

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German pressure-hose firm tells French Right to stop using its name

German pressure-hose poducer Kärcher has demanded of France's 'political figures and the media to immediately cease all use of its name in the political sphere' after French conservative presidential hopeful Valérie Pécresse re-iterated Nicolas Sarkozy's allusion to it for cleaning out crime in low-income neighbourhoods.

Sarkozy's 'cardinal' Claude Guéant jailed in Paris

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Claude Guéant at the Paris law courts, December 5th 2018. © Photo Eric Feferberg / AFP Claude Guéant at the Paris law courts, December 5th 2018. © Photo Eric Feferberg / AFP

Claude Guéant, once Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-hand man, a former French police chief who remained faithful throughout the scandals that have since engulfed the former French president, was on Monday jailed in the Santé prison in Paris. Fabrice Arfi and Michel Deléan report on the fall of a man nicknamed ‘The Cardinal’, whose loyalty was rewarded with posts that elevated him to secretary general of the presidential office, the Élysée Palace, and subsequently as Sarkozy’s hardline law-and-order interior minister, who is implicated in numerous corruption scandals and who, in the eyes of investigating magistrates, has yet to tell the full truth of what he knows about his former boss.

Suitcases of cash, threats and violence; the fallout from the Sarkozy-Takieddine affair

Top right Nicolas Sarkozy; centre-right Ziad Takieddine. © Photo illustration Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart Top right Nicolas Sarkozy; centre-right Ziad Takieddine. © Photo illustration Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart

Two people have been remanded in custody in the aftermath of the operation in which Ziad Takieddine, a key witness in the Nicolas Sarkozy-Libyan funding affair, made a false retraction of his evidence. One of the men in detention is the wealthy businessman Pierre Reynaud. As Mediapart can reveal, aspects of the saga have taken on the appearance of a Martin Scorsese crime movie. Fabrice Arfi, Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

Revealed: the extraordinary plan to free one of Gaddafi's sons in bid to help Sarkozy

Noël Dubus, 'Mimi' Marchand, Nicolas Sarkozy and Hannibal Gaddafi. © Photomontage Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart avec AFP Noël Dubus, 'Mimi' Marchand, Nicolas Sarkozy and Hannibal Gaddafi. © Photomontage Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart avec AFP

France's financial prosecution unit the Parquet National Financier (PNF) has broadened the scope of its investigation into claims that Ziad Takieddine, a key witness over allegations that Libya helped fund Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign, was induced to change his evidence. Well-connected Paris paparazzi boss Michèle 'Mimi' Marchand is one of those under investigation over the allegations. Prosecutors now also want to look at suspicions of an extraordinary plan to bribe judges in order to free one of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's sons from prison in Lebanon. The idea was that, in exchange, a grateful Hannibal Gaddafi would then speak out and clear the former president's name over the 2007 election funding allegations. As Fabrice Arfi, Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report, the affair could potentially now become an international scandal.

Brigitte Macron's embarrassing chat with paparazzi boss under investigation for 'criminal conspiracy'

Michèle Marchand (left) with Brigitte Macron in the northern town of Le Touquet during presidential election campaigning in April 2017. © Photo illustration Mediapart avec Eric Feferberg / AFP Michèle Marchand (left) with Brigitte Macron in the northern town of Le Touquet during presidential election campaigning in April 2017. © Photo illustration Mediapart avec Eric Feferberg / AFP

In a tapped phone conversation in July, Brigitte Macron, wife of France’s president, told paparazzi agency boss Michèle Marchand, an influential PR fixer to politicians who is formally placed under investigation for witness tampering and criminal conspiracy in a case related to a probe into suspected Libyan funding of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign, that she was to contact her security officer for help “if you get bother”. After she encouraged Marchand to “stay firm” following the latter's release from jail, Brigitte Macron also deplored the “terrible” judicial treatment of Sarkozy. Fabrice Arfi, Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

Sarkozy stays silent in witness box at Paris trial of former aides

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy appeared on Tuesday, as he was ordered to, as a witness at the trial of his former aides accused of misuse of public funds, but refused to answer questions, arguing that he was accountable 'to the French people, not to a court'.

Ex-French president Sarkozy told to testify in polling fraud trial

Sarkozy, who benefits from presidential immunity in the case, had said he would not appear as a witness in the case after being tried and convicted twice this year in separate affairs.

Sarkozy handed one-year jail sentence over campaign finances

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced he will appeal his conviction for illegal election campaign financing for which he has been handed a one-year prison sentence, which he could serve under house arrest with an electronic tag, and which is his second conviction and jail sentence.

Sarkozy-Libya funding probe: judges investigating witness tampering say case is 'of major gravity’

Michèle Marchand and (clockwise from left) Hervé Gattegno, Ziad Takieddine, Nicolas Sarkozy and Thierry Herzog. © Photo Illustration Simon Toupet /Mediapart avec AFP Michèle Marchand and (clockwise from left) Hervé Gattegno, Ziad Takieddine, Nicolas Sarkozy and Thierry Herzog. © Photo Illustration Simon Toupet /Mediapart avec AFP

Documents to which Mediapart has obtained access reveal evidence suggesting how a witness tampering plot was mounted to discredit the case against former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in a judicial investigation into the alleged funding of his 2007 election campaign by the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. According to judges investigating the alleged plot, it was “aimed at influencing the statements of a witness and to mislead, even to publicly discredit, the examining magistrates in charge of a case of particular sensitivity”. Fabrice Arfi, Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

Sarkozy-Libyan funding case: the bizarre inside story of attempted manipulation

Nicolas Sarkozy on the news bulletin of TF1 television station, March 3rd 2021. © Ludovic MARIN / AFP Nicolas Sarkozy on the news bulletin of TF1 television station, March 3rd 2021. © Ludovic MARIN / AFP

In November 2020 Ziad Takieddine, a key witness in the judicial investigation into Libyan funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election campaign, retracted his evidence. The apparent volte-face by a man who had previously said Nicolas Sarkozy had been corrupted by Libyan money in the affair was seized on by the former president's supporters as a turning point in the lengthy judicial saga. But Takieddine's retraction was not a genuine one. New legal documents seen by Mediapart – who originally broke the story of the alleged funding scandal - show the scale of the media manipulation used to help Nicolas Sarkozy. The former president's role in this is now at the heart of this part of the investigation. So, too, is the role played by the so-called 'queen of the paparazzi' Michèle 'Mimi' Marchand who is currently in custody in connection with the case. She has told detectives that her role in the affair was to: “Kill Mediapart”.  Fabrice ArfiKarl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

 

Michèle Marchand: a woman at the heart of power in France

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Michèle Marchand at the Élysée in November 2017. © Ludovic Marin/AFP Michèle Marchand at the Élysée in November 2017. © Ludovic Marin/AFP

The “queen of the paparazzi” Michèle 'Mimi' Marchand, who is currently in the news in relation to aspects of the probe into Libyan funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign, is reported to be close to Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron. She was a regular visitor to the Élysée at the start of President Macron's term of office in 2017, though became a more discreet presence after July 2018 and the emergence of the Benalla affair, when the president's personal security advisor Alexandre Benalla was videoed beating up protestors. Yet the influential position that the presidential couple granted her at the centre of power in France continues to raise questions, reports Ellen Salvi.

Sarkozy-Libya funding affair: paparazzi boss Michèle Marchand detained over alleged bail breach

'Mimi' Marchand photographed at the Elysée, November 15th 2017. © Ludovic Marin / AFP 'Mimi' Marchand photographed at the Elysée, November 15th 2017. © Ludovic Marin / AFP

French paparazzi agency boss Michèle Marchand, an influential PR fixer for politicians and confidante of presidents, has been taken into custody for breaching bail conditions. Earlier in June Marchand, nicknamed 'Mimi', was placed under formal investigation for witness tampering and criminal conspiracy in relation to an aspect of the long-running investigation into suspected Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign. But she was subsequently released on bail. However, Mediapart has learnt from several sources that she was taken into detention on Friday June 18th for apparently breaching a condition of that bail. Fabrice ArfiKarl LaskeYann Philippin and Antton Rouget report.

Prosecutors seek jail term for Sarkozy in campaign funding trial

The former president was also attacked for his 'cavalier' approach towards the court, at the end of proceedings in the trial over alleged campaign finance violations for his 2012 reelection bid.

Election funding trial: Sarkozy loses his cool as he seeks to clear his name

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Nicolas Sarkozy at the court in Paris, June 15th 2021. © Christophe Archambault/AFP Nicolas Sarkozy at the court in Paris, June 15th 2021. © Christophe Archambault/AFP

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy appeared in court for the first time yesterday, June 15th, for the trial in which he and 13 others face charges over the massive overspend during his failed presidential election campaign in 2012. The ex-head of state conceded some responsibility in the way his campaign was conducted. But, showing clear signs of irritation, Nicolas Sarkozy strongly denied that he had committed any financial irregularities himself. And instead he pointed the finger at supporters of Jean-François Copé, who at the time was head of Sarkozy's political party the UMP.  Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan was in court in Paris to hear the former president give evidence.