Investigations

  • Macron's ruling LREM party faces criticism as it embraces era of 'kit form politics'

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    The La République en Marche party conference was held in Paris on October 21st, 2018. © MJ The La République en Marche party conference was held in Paris on October 21st, 2018. © MJ

    The governing party set up by President Emmanuel Macron, La République en Marche (LREM), is seeking to mobilise and enthuse its activists as important elections approach. As part of that process it has developed a range of tools and documents inspired by business and management culture in which everyone is called upon to run grassroots initiatives. But as Manuel Jardinaud reports, these 'kit form' methods are not to everyone's tastes.

  • The French Army and genocide in Rwanda: a damning video

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    On the right, Colonel Jacques Rosier, head of French special forces in Rwanda. © DR On the right, Colonel Jacques Rosier, head of French special forces in Rwanda. © DR

    Mediapart has published a video filmed in the summer of 1994 by French soldiers in Rwanda. It exposes the passivity of the army during one of the most embarrassing episodes for France during the genocide in that country: the massacre at Bisesero. The revelation comes as French judges complete their long investigation into the claims that the French military was "complicit" in genocide and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile human rights groups say they fear that the victims of the atrocities will be denied justice.  Fabrice Arfi reports.

  • Corruption in Brazil: suspicions over meeting between Sarkozy and Lula

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    President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on September 7th, 2009,during Brazil's annual celebration of independence day. © Reuters President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on September 7th, 2009,during Brazil's annual celebration of independence day. © Reuters

    A former Brazilian finance minister, Antonio Palocci, claims that the issue of hidden payments was discussed during a meeting held between the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on the evening of September 6th, 2009. An investigation into the sale of French Scorpène submarines to Brazil and the construction of a naval base at Itaguaí in the South American country has revealed the existence of up to 70 million euros in commissions paid by the Brazilian partner company of the French naval defence firm Naval Group. Karl Laske investigates.

  • New questions emerge in fraud probe into France’s firebrand radical-left leader

    Police last week searched the home of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of Frances radical-left La France Insoumise party, and also the homes of several of his close entourage, as part of an investigation into suspected financial fraud during Mélenchon’s 2017 presidential election campaign. Mélenchon’s furious reaction to the raids, which included his party’s headquarters, have erupted into a public slanging match with the prosecution services and also the media, who he has denounced as serving a political plot against him. Fabrice Arfi, Michel Deléan and Antton Rouget report on the searches last week, when 12,000 euros in cash was discovered at the home of a former close aide of Mélenchon’s.

  • Gaddafi son tells French probe how dictator 'funded Sarkozy campaign'

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    Saïf al-Islam Gaddafi appearing before a court in Zintan, Libya, on May 15th 2014. © Reuters Saïf al-Islam Gaddafi appearing before a court in Zintan, Libya, on May 15th 2014. © Reuters

    In August this year, Saïf al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, sent a lengthy written statement to French magistrates investigating evidence that France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy secretly received millions of euros from the dictator’s regime to finance his 2007 election campaign. Mediapart has gained access to the statement in full, and reveals here the most notable extracts, in which he corroborates the accounts of the illegal funding, details how it was organised, and relates how Sarkozy and his close entourage sought, as a return favour, to overturn a life sentence handed by a Paris court to Gaddafi’s intelligence chief in absentia for his role in the 1989 bombing of a French airliner which killed 170 passengers and crew. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report.

  • Dassault document adds to corruption claims over Rafale sale to India

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    French defence minister Florence Parly with Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani (centre) and Dassault CEO Éric Trappier (left), inaugurating the Nagpur joint venture plant, October 27th 2017. © Reliance Group French defence minister Florence Parly with Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani (centre) and Dassault CEO Éric Trappier (left), inaugurating the Nagpur joint venture plant, October 27th 2017. © Reliance Group

    The 8 billion-euro sale to India by France of 36 Dassault Rafale jet fighters has become the centre of corruption allegations levelled against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his close friend, Indian businessman Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group which was handed the role of local industrial partner of Dassault to build parts for the jets despite no aeronautical expertise. The claim that Ambani was given the joint venture contract as a favour by Modi to save his struggling business is the subject of a complaint lodged this month with India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. Now Mediapart has obtained a Dassault company document in which a senior executive is quoted as saying the group accepted to work with Reliance as an “imperative and obligatory” condition for securing the fighter contract. Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

  • A year on: why the French #MeToo movement has lagged behind its US counterpart

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    Why has the #MeToo movement not had such an impact in France as it has had in America? © Reuters Why has the #MeToo movement not had such an impact in France as it has had in America? © Reuters

    The different ways in which the two countries have reacted to the #MeToo movement has been striking. In the United States there was a strong and powerful response whereas in France there has been a backlash, in some quarters. To find out why France has been slower to embrace this movement, which began a year ago, Mediapart asked women who had supported or led the campaign on this side of the Atlantic. Marine Turchi reports.

  • Libyan funding: police find evidence in Élysée of bid to clear Gaddafi henchman

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    Security chief Abdullah Senussi  in August 2011, just before the fall of the Libyan regime under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. © Reuters Security chief Abdullah Senussi in August 2011, just before the fall of the Libyan regime under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. © Reuters

    Investigators probing claims that the Libyan regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi funded Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign have unearthed a key piece of evidence in the archives of the Élysée. It shows that on May 16th, 2009, the middleman Ziad Takieddine visited the Élysée to meet Sarkozy's right-hand man Claude Guéant. The object was to “set aside the arrest warrant” targeting Colonel Gaddafi's brother-in-law and security chief Abdullah Senussi, who had been convicted in absentia for his part in the 1989 bombing of a French UTA airline DC10 passenger plane over Niger, in which 170 people lost their lives. There is growing suspicion that an agreement to resolve Senussi's situation was a key component of the Libyan funding corruption plot. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske.

  • The corruption behind sale of French tanks used in Yemen war

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    A Leclerc tank sold to the United Arab Emirates by France. © Nexter A Leclerc tank sold to the United Arab Emirates by France. © Nexter

    Documents obtained by Wikileaks and shared with Mediapart, German publication Der Spiegel and Italy's La Repubblica have revealed a state secret: the hidden corruption behind the sale of French tanks to the United Arab Emirates. The tanks involved in that deal have since been deployed in the current war in Yemen, a conflict which, according to the United Nations, has led to the worse humanitarian crisis in the world. Fabrice Arfi reports.

  • French army officers set to avoid charges over Rwanda massacre claims

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    General Jean-Claude Lafourcade, leaft, head of Opération Turquoise forces in Rwanda, with prime minister Édouard Balladur, July 21st, 1994, at Goma. © Reuters General Jean-Claude Lafourcade, leaft, head of Opération Turquoise forces in Rwanda, with prime minister Édouard Balladur, July 21st, 1994, at Goma. © Reuters

    Investigating magistrates in France have been probing the actions of a group of senior French military officers in relation to a massacre at Bisesero in Rwanda, one of the grim episodes in the genocide committed against the Tutsi people in 1994. For 13 years the judges have investigated the potential responsibility of the French military over that massacre amid claims that senior officers were slow to react to warnings that Tutsis were in mortal danger at that site. But Mediapart understands that the magistrates have now finished their probe with no individuals being placed under formal investigation, paving the way for the case to be dismissed with no trial. Fabrice Arfi reports.