Investigations

  • The Tariq Ramadan scandal: the stories of domination and intimidation

    By
    Tariq Ramadan. © Reuters Tariq Ramadan. © Reuters

    The prominent Islamic intellectual, scholar and preacher Tariq Ramadan has taken leave of absence from his post as professor at Oxford University after being accused of rape and violent assault by two women who last month filed formal complaints against him in France. Other French women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and domination, and in Switzerland former female pupils of his have accused him of sexual advances, including one who was aged just 14 at the time of the reported events. Ramadan has vigorously denied the allegations, denouncing “a campaign of calumny”. Marine Turchi investigates the claims and the reasons why they have emerged so late after the alleged events.

  • Judicial probe widens to French secret services' role in 'Kazakhgate' deal

    By and Alain Lallemand (Le Soir), Thierry Denoël (Le Vif) et Mark Eeckhaut (De Standaard)

    The financial crime branch of France’s public prosecution services has widened the remit of a judicial investigation into suspected corruption in a sale of French helicopters to Kazakhstan to include the suspected involvement of France’s intelligence services in a plan to protect a businessman close to the Kazakh president from prosecution in Belgium. The move follows revelations by Mediapart and Belgian daily Le Soir of evidence suggesting the intelligence services were manipulated by officials of the French presidency under Nicolas Sarkozy in order to seal the deal worth a total of 2 billion euros. Yann Philippin reports in collaboration with Mediapart's Belgian press partners in this investigation, Alain Lallemand (Le Soir), Thierry Denoël (Le Vif) and Mark Eeckhaut (De Standaard).

  • The threat from Islamic State's 'fifth column' in Europe

    By
    Eight of the terrorists behind attacks against Europe. From left to right and from top to bottom: Oussama Atar, Boubakeur el-Hakim, Salim Benghalem, Samir Nouad, Abdelnacer Benyoucef, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Najim Laachraoui and Ahmad Alkhald. © DR Eight of the terrorists behind attacks against Europe. From left to right and from top to bottom: Oussama Atar, Boubakeur el-Hakim, Salim Benghalem, Samir Nouad, Abdelnacer Benyoucef, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Najim Laachraoui and Ahmad Alkhald. © DR

    Jihadi veterans have been seeking to cause disarray among European intelligence agencies with hoax attacks that distract from real ones and attempts to infiltrate public agencies and companies. As a result security official are having huge difficulties in trying to measure the true scale of the terrorist threat that faces us. In the last of this lengthy series of investigations on Islamic State's intelligence operations, Matthieu Suc reports on the dangers still posed by jihadist agents operating within Europe despite Islamic State's major reverses in Iraq and Syria.

  • Mystery of French minister's massive Air France pay-off

    By
    Top civil servant and Armed Forces minister Florence Parly. © Reuters Top civil servant and Armed Forces minister Florence Parly. © Reuters

    A French government minister's declarations of her past income have shed a stark light on the system of privileges enjoyed by an elite group of civil servants in France. That system allowed Florence Parly, a career civil servant who is now minister for the Armed Forces, to take up lucrative jobs outside the civil service without ever risking her security of employment. She even managed to negotiate a golden handshake from Air France worth around half a million euros. Laurent Mauduit reports.

  • Why probe into key Macron ally Richard Ferrand may not yet be over

    By
    End of the affair? Richard Ferrand, head of the Parliamentary group of Emmanuel Macron's LREM party. © Reuters End of the affair? Richard Ferrand, head of the Parliamentary group of Emmanuel Macron's LREM party. © Reuters

    When prosecutors announced in October 2017 that they were not pursuing an investigation into the financial allegations surrounding Richard Ferrand, who is now president of Emmanuel Macron's political party at the National Assembly, it seemed the end of the matter. However, an analysis of the preliminary investigation report by Mediapart shows that from start to finish Ferrand looked after his partner's interests in a property deal with a mutual health firm, even though he was managing director of that company at the time. Now anti-corruption groups are calling for an independent judge to re-open the case and investigate. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

  • How Volkswagen stashed billions of euros in Luxembourg scheme

    By and Martin Hesse, Simon Hage (Der Spiegel) et Blaz Zgaga
    Volkswagen supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch. © Reuters Volkswagen supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch. © Reuters

    Between 2014 and 2016, German carmaker Volkswagen placed 5.8 billion euros into a financial structure, run by a staff of five, it registered in Luxembourg, and which paid just 1.7 million euros in taxes on the sum. It is one example of an elaborate system of ‘tax optimisation’ created by the giant group in 2012, despite assurances by its supervisory board chairman, Hans Dieter Pötsch, when he was financial director, that “we have never played such games”. Yann Philippin, Martin Hesse, Simon Hage and Blaz Zgaga report.

  • Libyan funding of Sarkozy election campaign: a damning police report

    By and
    Nicolas Sarkozy and his right-hand man Claude Guéant, March 27th, 2012. © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy and his right-hand man Claude Guéant, March 27th, 2012. © Reuters

    Police officers from France's fraud squad the OCLCIFF have produced a preliminary and damning report into the claims that the Libyan regime under Muammar Gaddafi funded the 2007 presidential election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy. It raises questions about the role of Éric Woerth who at the time was treasurer of Sarkozy's campaign, later became a minister and is now president of the finance committee at the National Assembly. Meanwhile judges have ordered the seizure of properties belonging to Sarkozy's former chief-of-staff and right-hand man, Claude Guéant. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

  • Airbus's 80 million-euro golden parachute to former executive

    By and
    Jean-Paul Gut, director of EADS International and group strategy until June 2007. © dr Jean-Paul Gut, director of EADS International and group strategy until June 2007. © dr

    The former commercial director of EADS – now Airbus – Jean-Paul Gut, who set up the commercial and marketing system that is now at the centre of parallel corruption investigations by French and British police, received a 'golden parachute' of around 80 million euros, it can be revealed. A joint investigation by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel also shows that the European aerospace group was willing to continue using Gut as a highly-paid consultant even after he left his lucrative post in 2007.

  • The evidence implicating Airbus CEO Tom Enders in Eurofighter 'slush fund'

    By Martine Orange, Yann Philippin et Lea Fauth
    Airbus Group CEO Thomas Enders. © Reuters Airbus Group CEO Thomas Enders. © Reuters

    A joint investigation by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel reveals here how Airbus Group chief executive Thomas Enders has become personally implicated in allegations that the aerospace giant created a slush fund to pay intermediaries secret commissions, and “sweeteners” to politicians, in order to obtain a contract for the sale of 18 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Austria. Martine Orange, Yann Philippin and Lea Fauth report.

  • The devious manoeuvres behind ex-Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo's trial at ICC

    By
    Laurent Gbagbo appearing before the ICC court in The Hague on Febraury 19th 2013. © Michael Kooren/Reuters Laurent Gbagbo appearing before the ICC court in The Hague on Febraury 19th 2013. © Michael Kooren/Reuters

    In April 2011, former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, at the centre of a political crisis that followed disputed elections in the country five months earlier, was captured with French help by militiamen acting for his rival, Alassane Ouattara, the country’s current leader. A confidential French foreign ministry document obtained by Mediapart reveals how International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, without any legal basis, was involved in an operation to keep Gbagbo prisoner – five months before the ICC had even opened an investigation into his alleged crimes against humanity, for which he is now on trial in The Hague. Fanny Pigeaud reports on a covert operation in which the ICC appears to have played a key role France’s political manoeuvring in its former West African colony.