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.

French website ordered to remove secret Sarkozy tapes

France — Link

Judges also sentenced former top aide Patrick Buisson to pay damages for making recordings, some of which involved Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni.

Sarkozy and Bruni launch legal action to block secret tapes

France — Link

The couple hope to stop any further publication of secret recordings of Sarkozy's confidential conversations made during his time as president.

Advisor secretly taped Sarkozy when president

France — Link

The Canard Enchaîné begins publishing embarassing secret recordings while the former president's entourage fear far more damage to come.