Philippe Courroye

How the Bettencourt scandal began and ended in a trial of freedom of the press

France — Analysis

Seven years after the revelation of the so-called “Bettencourt affair”, the tentacular scandal of corruption, fraud, tax evasion, conflicts of interest and political funding centred on the entourage of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress of the L’Oréale cosmectics giant, those who exposed the crimes committed against the dementia-suffering billionaire were tried by a Bordeaux appeal court last month for invasion of privacy. They are Bettencourt’s butler, who secretly recorded compromising conversations of those who were swindling his employer, and Mediapart and weekly magazine Le Point which published the contents of the tapes. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel explains here the history of an absurd legal procedure led by a public prosecutor’s office that has never accepted an initial court ruling that threw out the case on the grounds of the press’s duty to inform and the public’s right to know.

After Bettencourt – why France's justice system urgently needs reform

France — Opinion

One of the greatest political-financial scandals of France's Fifth Republic has been reduced to the level of just another human interest story of money and greed. The verdicts handed down by the courts in the Bettencourt affair on Thursday – in particular the acquittals of former budget minister Éric Woerth – have stripped the scandal of its powerful political dimension. In doing so, argues Mediapart's editor François Bonnet, France's malfunctioning justice system, dependant as it is on its political masters, has shown yet again that it is suffering from a profound malaise.

Bettencourt : trois perquisitions chez Sarkozy


C'est une première pour un ancien président de la République. Le domicile, le cabinet d'avocats et les bureaux de Nicolas Sarkozy ont été perquisitionnés mardi, dans le cadre de l'affaire Bettencourt. Philippe Courroye est convoqué devant le CSM, et la juge Prévost-Desprez se voit reprocher une « violation du secret professionnel ».

French prosecutor Courroye under investigation for spying on journalists

France — Link

A top French prosecutor close to President Nicolas Sarkozy has been placed under investigation for illegally spying on French journalists.

French prosecutor in Bettencourt affair illegally spied journalists' phone calls


Senior French public prosecutor Philippe Courroye (pictured) acted illegally when he spied on journalists' phone calls and SMS records in order to identify their sources while they were reporting the L'Oréal-Bettencourt affair, France's highest court has ruled. It is a severe blow for Courroye, widely regarded as an ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy and who now faces being formally placed under investigation - one step short of charges being brought - for "collecting information of a personal nature by use of fraudulent, foul or illicit means". Michel Deléan reports.

Captain Sarkozy hits the iceberg

France — Opinion

One after the other, President Nicolas Sarkozy's closest friends and aides, who for so long served as his political fireguards, have become implicated in a series of scandals and fast-developing judicial investigations. The alleged illegal political funding scam that has finally exploded with the revelations surrounding arms dealer Ziad Takieddine has already demolished the president's once solid network of protection. What has been happening this past month at the summit of French political power is historic, writes Mediapart editor François Bonnet, for never before has a French president been so exposed to being sunk by scandal and the revenge of abandoned protagonists.

Bettencourt: le procureur use et abuse de l’espionnage téléphonique


Le procureur Philippe Courroye a chargé la police d'examiner les factures téléphoniques de deux journalistes du Monde ayant écrit sur l'affaire Woerth-Bettencourt. Dans l'espoir de trouver leur «source» éventuelle et d'écarter la juge Isabelle Prévost-Desprez, qui enquête de manière indépendante sur l'un des volets de cette affaire et qui est en conflit ouvert avec le procureur Courroye. Le journal annonce qu'il porte plainte.