Former French finance minister Jérôme Cahuzac will next month stand trial on charges of tax evasion and money laundering. The trial follows a two-year judicial investigation which was itself prompted by Mediapart’s revelations that Cahuzac held a secret bank account abroad, which he first denied before finally confessing in April 2013. Mediapart has gained access to the concluding report by the magistrates which details the evidence for sending Cahuzac for trial. Fabrice Arfi reports.
In a landmark ruling on Tuesday, five journalists from Mediapart and French weekly news magazine Le Point, together with the former butler of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, were cleared of invasion of privacy charges relating to the publication of the contents of secretly-recorded conversations between the billionaire and her close entourage of legal and financial advisors. The publication of the contents of the tapes, which lifted the lid on a web of corruption and manipulation, contributed to “debates of public and societal interest” and “without entering into elements of private life and family conflicts”, concluded the magistrates in Bordeaux following the trial of the six defendants last November. The full text of their ruling is presented in this report by Mediapart legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been sent for trial in France for “negligence” when she was French finance minister in her management of an arbitration process that awarded French businessman Bernard Tapie with 404 million euros paid out of public funds, Mediapart can reveal. Earlier this month the Paris appeals court ordered Tapie to pay back the controversial 2008 payout. Michel Deléan and Laurent Mauduit report.
One of the world’s most prominent art dealers, Guy Wildenstein, is to stand trial in Paris next month on charges of tax fraud and money laundering. The case centres on undeclared assets from the estate of his late father Daniel Wildenstein, for which Guy Wildenstein and other members of his family have received a record tax adjustment totalling 550 million euros. Mediapart has gained access to the judicial document detailing the case for the trial, and which reveals the staggering sums involved and the complex offshore structures that hid, among other assets, a stash of prized artworks. Laurent Mauduit reports.
This week, five journalists, including Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel and Mediapart investigative reporter Fabrice Arfi, stand trial in Bordeaux on charges relating to the violation of personal privacy. The case centres on the publication by Mediapart in 2010 of extracts of secretly recorded conversations between L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her entourage of advisors which revealed a catalogue of corruption and manipulation surrounding the ageing billionaire and which led to the convictions of eight people earlier this year. Here, Fabrice Arfi denounces a trial that flouts press freedom laws and threatens the fundamental 'right to know'.
At the end of an eight-day trial in Paris of five prefects charged with embezzling public funds, prosecutors have demanded a 30-month suspended jail sentence and a 75,000-euro fine for Nicolas Sarkozy’s former chief of staff and ex-interior minister, Claude Guéant, who they described as playing “the leading role” in a scam that siphoned off 210,000 euros in cash reserved for police investigations. Michel Deléan reports.