Investigations

  • French government caves in to pressure from food lobby over junk food

    By
    French prime minister Édouard Philippe and agriculture and foods minister Didier Guillaume at the Agriculture Show in Paris. © Ministère de l'agriculture French prime minister Édouard Philippe and agriculture and foods minister Didier Guillaume at the Agriculture Show in Paris. © Ministère de l'agriculture

    The food industry is happy with the French government's new food and nutrition plan which, from its point of view, has rejected the most worrying measures that had been recommended by health experts. And according to a document obtained by Mediapart, the industry is also opposed to the carrying out of a study into the health risks posed by eating ultra-processed foods. Karl Laske reports on the results of a joint investigation between Mediapart and consumer group Que Choisir.

  • It's a family affair: probe into Macron ally Gérard Collomb

    By Nicolas Barriquand Et Mathieu Périsse (Mediacités-Lyon)
    Lyon mayor and former minister of the interior Gérard Collomb. © Reuters Lyon mayor and former minister of the interior Gérard Collomb. © Reuters

    The mayor of France's third largest city Lyon, former interior minister and key ally of President Emmanuel Macron, Gérard Collomb, faces a preliminary investigation for possible “misappropriation of public money” linked to city council jobs held by his former partner. One constant factor in the career of this powerful politician is that Gerard Collomb's partners have always worked close at hand. Nicolas Barriquand and Mathieu Périss from online journal and Mediapart partner Mediacités report.

  • French jihadists face Iraqi justice under the discreet orders of Paris

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    From left to right and from the top, 11 of the 12 condemned to death: Yassine Sakkam, Fodil Tahar Aouidate, Karam El Harchaoui, Bilel Kabaoui, then Kevin Gonot, Léonard Lopez, Mohamed Berriri, and finally Mustapha Merzoughi, Salim Machou and Brahim Nejara. © DR From left to right and from the top, 11 of the 12 condemned to death: Yassine Sakkam, Fodil Tahar Aouidate, Karam El Harchaoui, Bilel Kabaoui, then Kevin Gonot, Léonard Lopez, Mohamed Berriri, and finally Mustapha Merzoughi, Salim Machou and Brahim Nejara. © DR

    Twelve former residents in France – eleven of them French citizens, one a Tunisian – have now been sentenced to death in Iraq for having been a member of Islamic State. But whatever charges they face, the way in which Iraqi justice is being carried out in relation to the jihadists has raised major concerns, including among many French lawyers. As Mediapart has revealed, the ides of trying these French citizens and residents in Iraq was conceived in Paris where officials want the process to be carried out “without visible involvement by France”. Matthieu Suc reports.

  • Moscow man: the key role of a French intermediary in Benalla security aide affair

    Jean-Louis Haguenauer, left, and Alexandre Benalla at a château in the Dordogne in August 2018. © Document Mediapart Jean-Louis Haguenauer, left, and Alexandre Benalla at a château in the Dordogne in August 2018. © Document Mediapart

    In the unfolding saga of the Benalla affair, which involves President Emmanuel Macron's sacked security aide Alexandre Benalla, one man played a key role in the shadows. He is French middleman Jean-Louis Haguenauer, the man behind the Russia security contract negotiated by Benalla while the latter was still working as a key aide at the Élysée. Mediapart can reveal how over a period of 30 years Haguenauer cultivated a network of contacts in Russia, including close links with the Russian secret services. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.

  • Counting the cost of Europe's 'Eurocrats'

    By Quentin Ariès
    Well-paid: Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. © Reuters Well-paid: Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. © Reuters

    A communist candidate in the forthcoming European Parliament elections in France recently called for Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's salary to be drastically reduced. At the same time Mediapart has examined the high levels of pay and other benefits enjoyed by the civil servants who work in the Brussels-based bureaucracy. In all some 60,000 or so officials work for the EU, a number of whom have told Mediapart that their salaries are justified. Quentin Ariès reports.

  • How France's far-right RN party plans enriching its supporters out of public funds

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    Far-right Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen. © Reuters Far-right Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen. © Reuters

    To fund its campaign for this month’s European Parliament elections, the French far-right Rassemblement National party (the renamed Front National) has raised around 4 million euros through so-called “patriotic” loans from its members and supporters, to who it has promised a 5% interest rate. The party will submit the amounts raised, with interest, in its application for a post-election refund of campaign spending that is granted to parties and paid out of the public purse. The generous interest payments paid to its lending members and supporters will cost the taxpayer around 200,000 euros, and the party says it plans employing the same strategy in future elections. Marine Turchi reports.

  • The French government's lies over May Day 'attack' on Paris hospital

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    Police on motorbikes inside the grounds of Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, May 1st 2019. Police on motorbikes inside the grounds of Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, May 1st 2019.

    The Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris has been at the centre of a major controversy after incidents that took place there in the aftermath of this year's annual May Day demonstrations. Throughout the evening of May 1st and into the following morning, several members of the government and senior health managers in Paris insisted the well-known hospital had been “attacked” by violent demonstrators. Yet in fact there was no such attack: instead, a few dozen protestors sought refuge in the hospital's buildings to escape police tear gas and charges. There was no threatening behaviour from protestors towards hospital staff and none of them damaged the premises. However, some were later hit by the police. Now interior minister Christophe Castaner has formally retracted his use of the word “attack”. Dan Israel reports.

  • French police fractured skull of teenager as she lay injured on ground after demo

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    'Maria', aged 19, after her emergency operation following the incident in Marseille. © Mediapart 'Maria', aged 19, after her emergency operation following the incident in Marseille. © Mediapart

    On Tuesday April 30th 2019, a 19-year-old woman formally lodged a criminal complaint with the Marseilles prosecution services against unnamed persons for attempted murder, aggravated assault and failure to assist a person in danger. This followed an incident on December 8th 2018 when, on the fringes of a demonstration by 'yellow vest' protesters in the southern French port city, 'Maria' – not her real name – was kicked in the head and struck with batons by police officers, according to several witnesses, as she lay injured on the ground. She suffered a skull fracture and brain damage. Pascale Pascariello reports.

  • Yemen: the war of starvation

    By Disclose
    Relief organisations estimate that over the past four years around 85,000 Yemeni children have died from hunger or illness. © Reuters Relief organisations estimate that over the past four years around 85,000 Yemeni children have died from hunger or illness. © Reuters

    Weapons sold by France to the Saudi-led coalition offensive against the Houthi rebellion in Yemen are being used to starve millions of the country’s population, a strategy the United Nations has described as a method of warfare that “may constitute a war crime”.

  • Yemen: the secret French arms shipments

    By Disclose
    capture-d-e-cran-2019-04-14-a-20-48-11

    Amid the ongoing war in Yemen, France continued to supply weapons to, and also signed new contracts with, Saudi Arabia, all of it behind a veil of secrecy.