A Paris court has handed prison sentences to six men found guilty of organising a vast political funding scam involving kickbacks on French weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The kickbacks, secretly transferred in cash sums, were to finance former French prime minister Édouard Balladur’s 1995 presidential election campaign. The men, who were on Monday given jail terms of between three and five years, include former minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Nicolas Bazire, a senior executive at luxury goods group LVMH. The verdicts end the financial chapter of what has become known as the “Karachi Affair”, an ongoing judicial saga that centres on the murders of 11 French naval engineers in Pakistan in 2002. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report on the conclusions of the sentencing magistrates.
French prosecutors have recommended that the French subsidiary of Swedish home furnishings chain Ikea, several members of its former management and four French police officers should stand trial for their involvement in a system of espionnage targeting company staff and clients.
Two Franco-Israeli men were given jail sentences and heavy fines by a Paris court for masterminding a multi-million-euro fraud using the identity of Jean-Yves Le Drian, who at the time was France’s defence minister and is now the foreign minister, to raise money from wealthy political, business and religious figures.
The sister of a mother of two children who was shot dead with her parents by a partner previously reported to the authorities for domestic violence has brought a court case against the French state for failing to prevent the killings in what her lawyer said was a 'textbook case' of 'neglect at every level'.
Seven people are on trial in Paris for their aleged involvement in a multi-million fraud scandal that targeted more than 150 prominent figures and organisations and which included an impersonation by phone and Skype of then defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, now foreign minister, requesting funds for a supposed secret mission.
The trial in Paris of Lamine Diack, the 86-year-old Senegalese former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, and five other defendants on charges of corruption and money laundering in connection with the doping scandal surrounding Russian athletes, has been postponed until June after new documents were provided to the court.
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.