The trial in Saudi Arabia of 11 men accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi in November 2018 ended on December 23rd with the death sentence pronounced against five of the defendants. “These verdicts are the antithesis of justice: the hit men are sentenced to death, potentially permanently silencing key witnesses, but the apparent masterminds walk free,” said UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard. In this opinion article, Mediapart Middle East specialist René Backmann denounces the lack of reaction to the verdicts from France, which the very same day loaded three armed vessels, the first in a deal for 39, onto a freighter bound for Saudi Arabia.
In a landmark legal decision, Didier Lombard, the former chief executive of France Télécom, now renamed Orange, his second in command at the company, Louis-Pierre Wenès and its former human resources director, Olivier Barberot, were found guilty by Paris magistrates on Friday of “institutional moral harassment” which saw a series of staff suicides during a brutal cost-cutting and restructuring plan at the telecoms giant in 2007 and 2008.
Willy Bardon, 45, who was on Friday found guilty of taking part in the abduction and rape of a young woman found murdered in northern France in 2002, was reported to be 'emerging from a coma' this weekend after he swallowed a highly toxic pesticide when the court's verdict was announced.
Several senior membners of France's far-right party, the former Front National now renamed the Rassemblement National, which claims on opinion survey results to be the country's most popular opposition party, went on trial in Paris on Wednesday accused of a scam to defraud the electoral subsidies accorded to political parties in the 2012 national election campaigns.
Inès Madani, 22, and Ornella Gilligmann, 32, were sentenced to jail sentences of 30 years and 25 years respectively on Monday after being found guilty by a Paris court of attempting – although, in the event, failing – to set off a car bomb close to Notre Dame cathedral in Septembner 2016, which prosecutors said could have killed or wounded around 60 people in a nearby bar.
Four officers of France's Foreign Legion are on trial for alleged manslaughter over the deaths of six recruits in an avalanche in January 2016 while on a training exercise in the French Alps.
The trial of six former high-ranking French government officials accused of taking part in the secret siphoning off of funds from arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to finance the presidential election campaign of former prime minister Edouard Balladur has opened in Paris.
A trial opened in Paris on Monday centred on one of France’s biggest-ever pharmaceutical scandals, so vast and involving so many people that it is expected to last up to seven months. French pharmaceutical firm Servier is accused of hiding the killer side effects of its drug Mediator, a treatment for type-2 diabetes patients, but which was widely prescribed as an appetite suppressant. Up to 2,000 patients are estimated to have died from pulmonary and heart disease caused by Mediator, the dangers of which the drug safety authorities, several of whose members are also standing trial, turned a blind eye to. The scandal was revealed ten years ago by pulmonologist Irène Frachon, whose dogged investigations have seen her ostracised by many in the medical establishment. She talks about her campaign and its aftermath in this interview with Rozenn Le Saint.
French drug watchdog and the pharmaceutical firm Servier are on trial over the long-running Mediator drug scandal.
The trial of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 68, leader of the leftist La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, began on Thursday in which he and five other party members are accused of intimidating police and public prosecution officials during a 2018 search of his home and party offices conducted as part of an investrigation into alleged election funding irregularities.
French group Bourbon, a leading player in the field of maritime services and engineering support for the offshore oil and gas extraction industry which employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, is facing dire straits. Weighed down by heavy debts, its holding company was this month placed into receivership, while the group and members of its senior management have been sent for trial on charges of corrupting tax officials in Africa. Meanwhile, French junior minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who until joining government last October sat on the Bourbon board and presided over its audit committee, denies any responsibility in the group’s current woes. Antton Rouget reports.
The trial in Paris on charges of moral harassment of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other senior executives of the company, who are accused of causing a wave of staff suicides amid a brutal corporate restructuring plan, ended on Thursday. While the verdicts will only finally be announced in December, the prosecution has demanded that the defendants be handed maximum sentences, which include jail terms of between eight months and one year. Mediapart turned to Rachel Saada, a French lawyer specialised in labour law cases and who notably represented the families of Renault staff who took their lives in a wave of suicides at the carmaking group between 2006-2007, for her analysis of the trial, and its implications for corporate culture in France.
At the end of a trial of more than two-and-a-half months on moral harassment charges of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other top executives, whose brutal plan of cost-cutting and job-axing in the mid 2000s was cited as the cause of dozens of suicides and attempted suicides among personnel, Orange – as the company was renamed in 2013 – has offered to pay damages to the victims and relatives, while staff unions are demanding that compensation be paid by the defendants themselves.
French wheeler-dealer tycoon Bernard Tapie,76, who built his fortune from buying and asset-stripping businesses before selling them on, and who was once jailed for match fixing when he owned football club Olympique de Marseille, has been acquitted by a Paris court, along with four other co-defendants including Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, of charges of fraud over a controversial state payout made to him in 2008 of more than 400 million euros.