• Pope caught up in Argentine paedophile priest scandal

    By Martin Boudot, Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse et Antton Rouget
    Argentine-born Pope Francis. Argentine-born Pope Francis.

    In 2010 when he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis commissioned a report that sought to exonerate a prominent priest who had been convicted of paedophilia. Now for the first time an Argentine judge has told Mediapart and TV documentary  Cash Investigation that a direct attempt was made by the church to influence his views ahead of the priest's appeal hearing. Martin Boudot, Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse and Antton Rouget report.

  • Revealed: the 25 bishops who covered up sex crimes

    By Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse (We Report) et Donatien Huet
    megabloc-pedophilie

    The French Catholic Church has for years protected priests and others under its authority who were accused of sexual assaults, and paedophile crimes in particular. This Mediapart investigation reveals how 25 bishops, five of who are still active, were directly involved in protecting 24 people, mostly priests, accused of sexual abuse. They were among 32 alleged perpetrators of sex crimes who are identified here as having been protected by the Church, and whose alleged victims total 339. The method employed often involved the transfer of the alleged perpetrators, a number of who have now been convicted for sex crimes, to distant geographical locations both in France and abroad. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière and Mathieu Périsse report (graphics by Donatien Huet).

  • The incurious probe into Paris terrorist's arms suppliers

    By Karl Laske
    The bullet-shattered glass entrance of the Hyper Cacher store (left) and guns offered by the traffickers who armed Amedy Coulibaly. The bullet-shattered glass entrance of the Hyper Cacher store (left) and guns offered by the traffickers who armed Amedy Coulibaly.

    In January 2015, a series of terrorist attacks in Paris left 17 people dead, including 11 at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and four Jewish men in a kosher supermarket. The attack on the kosher store was carried out by Amedy Coulibaly in the name of the so-called Islamic State group. A number of weapons later found at the scene and at his home transited via an arms trafficking network in northern France which had been the object of several lengthy police surveillance operations. So why have magistrates in charge of investigating the itinerary of the arms still not questioned those involved in the surveillance? Karl Laske reports.

  • Emmanuel Macron, money and his well-heeled backers

    Emmanuel Macron outside 10 Downing Street where he met British PM Theresa May on February 21st, 2017. © Reuters Emmanuel Macron outside 10 Downing Street where he met British PM Theresa May on February 21st, 2017. © Reuters

    The independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has no public money behind him to help his presidential campaign, as he has no established political party. Instead he is relying on donations both via the internet and from private gatherings with wealthy supporters. Opponents have raised questions over the former economy minister's links with the world of money and business, as well as the declarations of his personal assets which seem to suggest he spent large amounts of money while working as a merchant banker. Those rivals seek to paint him as a candidate for “global capitalism”. His entourage are irritated by such a depiction but, given his background in the world of finance, they have little choice but to accept it, report Mathieu Magnaudeix and Mathilde Mathieu.

  • Was murder of two French journalists in Mali linked to unpaid ransoms?

    By Yann Philippin
    Image from a video in which AQMI claimed responsibility for taking the hostages in Niger. Image from a video in which AQMI claimed responsibility for taking the hostages in Niger.

    In November 2013 two journalists from French public broadcaster RFI, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, were kidnapped and killed while on assignment in the north of Mali. The exact reasons why the pair were killed have never been clear. Now an investigation suggests the murders may have been a revenge attack after the jihadist kidnappers of four other French hostages had not received all the ransom reportedly paid to secure their release. Yann Philippin reports.

  • Fillon campaign donations are paid to his own 'private party'

    By Mathilde Mathieu

    Like many of leading French politicians, François Fillon has his own 'micro' party which is used to develop policy ideas and raise funds. But Mediapart can reveal that the micro party run by Fillon, whose candidacy for the French presidency has been rocked by the so-called “fake jobs” scandal involving his wife Penelope, is discreetly banking donations from members of the public supporting his official electoral campaign. “It's madness!” says one senior figure on the Right. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

  • New Fillon claim: was key campaign aide paid by billionaire for 'fake work'?

    By Antton Rouget
    Friend of François Fillon: billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière at the Élysée on July 11th, 2016. © Reuters Friend of François Fillon: billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière at the Élysée on July 11th, 2016. © Reuters

    Right-wing François Fillon's presidential campaign has been thrown into turmoil after claims that his wife Penelope was paid €500,000  as his parliamentary assistant despite doubts she ever performed that role. It is also claimed that Penelope Fillon received €100,000 from a magazine owned by a billionaire ally of former prime minister Fillon, even though she appears to have done little work for it. The couple have been questioned by investigators, while new claims emerge that the family may have pocketed close to a million euros in all. Now Mediapart can reveal that a key advisor on Fillon's election campaign was given a job at a charitable foundation run by the same billionaire, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, at the time she began working for the presidential candidate. Yet there is no public trace of the advisor's work at the foundation. Antton Rouget investigates a case that will raise yet more questions surrounding the finances of the frontrunner to be the next French president.

  • How French ex-PM Villepin received nearly 500,000 euros 'from Libyan funds'

    By Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi
    Alexandre Djouhri, centre left, and former premier Dominique de Villepin, centre, at the Parc des Princes football stadium, April 23rd, 2014. © Benoit Tessier Reuters Alexandre Djouhri, centre left, and former premier Dominique de Villepin, centre, at the Parc des Princes football stadium, April 23rd, 2014. © Benoit Tessier Reuters

    In 2009 the former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin was paid nearly half a million euros in money which originated in a Libyan state fund, Mediapart can reveal. Details of the payment, which came via middleman and business Alexandre Djouhri, have been unearthed by investigators examining another 500,000 euro payment, which was made to Nicolas Sarkozy's former right-hand man Claude Guéánt and which passed through a similar route. Villepin has told detectives he was unaware of the Libyan origin of the money. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report.

  • How financiers feed on Europe's cash-strapped football clubs

    By Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry, Yann Philippin

    Football has become a new playing field for financial institutions preying on debt, as illustrated by documents from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks and analysed by the European journalistic consortium European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), in which Mediapart is a founding member. In one example, a British company called XXIII Capital had bought up 73 million dollars’ worth of debts resulting from transfers of players in England, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. These were then included in a financial product offered on Wall Street and subsequently on the stock exchange of the Caribbean tax haven of the Cayman Islands. Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry and Yann Philippin report.

  • The billionaire boss of Monaco and his TPO deals with Jorge Mendes

    By Michel Henry, Agathe Duparc, Michaël Hajdenberg et Yann Philippin
    Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner and chairman of French football club AS Monaco. © Reuters Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner and chairman of French football club AS Monaco. © Reuters

    Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner and chairman of French football club AS Monaco, held, via his own investment fund, economic rights in football players, some of whom played for Monaco, according to documents obtained from the whistle-blowing Football Leaks platform by the journalistic consortium European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), in which Mediapart is a founding partner. The Third-Party Ownership investments, which raised clear issues of a potential conflict of interest, were mounted in association with football ‘super-agent’ Jorge Mendes, who himself made at least 6.85 million euros from the deals. Michel Henry, Agathe Duparc, Michaël Hajdenberg and Yann Philippin report.