trial

Paris trial opens into massive fraud involving fake French minister

International — Link

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.

Paris trial of ex-athletics chief Diack postponed to June

International — Link

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.

France's shameful silence over Khashoggi murder trial verdicts

International — Opinion

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.

France Télécom executives convicted over staff suicides

France — Link

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.    

Convicted rapist who poisoned himself at French trial 'recovering'

France — Link

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.

Senior members of France's far-right party on trial for funding fraud

France — Link

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.

Women in failed Notre Dame car bomb plot jailed

France — Link

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.

French Foreign Legion officers on trial over training deaths

France — Link

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.

Trial opens in Paris into 'Karachi affair' funding scam

International — Link

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.

The whistleblowing doctor who took on French pharma giant over 'killer' drug

France

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 trial over weight-loss pill behind 'up to 2,000 deaths' starts

France — Link

French drug watchdog and the pharmaceutical firm Servier are on trial over the long-running Mediator drug scandal.

French leftist leader Mélenchon on trial for obstructing police raid

France — Link

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.

Corruption case whips up storm for ailing French maritime group Bourbon

France — Investigation

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.

France Télécom staff suicides trial: a landmark for corporate culture?

France — Interview

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. 

Orange offers compensation as trial of French Télécom bosses ends

France — Link

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.