François Fillon, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoît Hamon, on March 20th, 2017, during the presidential campaign. © Reuters
New documents seen by Mediapart undermine claims that the substantial discounts that events firm GL Events handed to Emmanuel Macron's presidential campaign were simply in line with “normal” business practice. The documents show that neither socialist candidate Benoît Hamon or conservative candidate François Fillon received similar discounts despite renting the same halls during the campaign. Opposition politicians are now raising questions over the cut-price deals offered by GL Events, whose boss Olivier Ginon the president describes as a “friend”. Antton Rouget reports.
Events organiser Olivier Ginon, left, with Brigitte Macron, President Emmanuel Macron and interior minister Gérard Collomb at the Elysée in September 2017. © Reuters
According to election campaign accounts seen by Mediapart, the French events organisers GL Events gave Emmanuel Macron significant discounts on services it provided for his successful election campaign. The company run by Olivier Ginon, an ally of interior minister Gérard Collomb and currently very much in favour at the Elysée, claims these were normal business discounts available to everyone. Yet according to the information seen by Mediapart, conservative candidate François Fillon did not benefit from similarly advantageous rates from the same company. Antton Rouget reports.
Bruno Lafont when he was CEO of Lafarge, on February 18th, 2015. © Reuters
An intercepted telephone call involving the former boss of French cement firm Lafarge, which is accused of funding terrorist group Islamic State to keep its Syrian cement plant in production, shows the extend of the “worry” that has gripped the company, which has since become a Franco-Swiss multinational. Just how far – and to whom – will the current judicial investigation extend? Fabrice Arfi reports.
Under investigation: Father Olivier de Scitivaux, right. © DR
A senior priest in the diocese of Orléans south of Paris has just been placed under formal investigation over claims that he sexually abused a 15-year-old. This follows ongoing allegations against another priest in the same diocese. One victims group thinks the two scandals could be linked and prosecutors fear that many more instances of abuse may be involved and that dozens of young boys could have been victims. Meanwhile senior church figures have been accused of a cover-up or at least turning a blind eye. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a decisive goal on April 11th that sent his club into the semi-finals of the European Chamions League. © Reuters
Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo, currently under investigation in Spain, where he resides, over his alleged wilful evasion of 14.7 million euros in tax payments between 2011 and 2014, created a trust in Jersey in 2015 from which millions of euros were transferred to a subsidiary in Luxembourg and which did not appear in his 2015 tax declaration, according to confidential documents analysed by Mediapart and its partners in the journalistic consortium European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). The trust was abruptly wound down last week, just 24 hours after the EIC contacted the footballer and his agent for comment on the documents.
François Mitterrand in 1974.
In 1974, the Ba’ath party regime in power in Iraq approved a payment of 1 million dollars to fund the presidential election campaign that year of the late French socialist leader François Mitterrand, according to a document from the intelligence services of the former West Germany, the BND, obtained by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel. The document refers to an intercepted message sent by Baghdad to its embassy in Paris. While it is not known whether Mitterrand’s campaign ever benefited from the reportedly earmarked funds, the BND document raises further questions about the extent of Iraq’s established close and secret relations with French political parties of Left and Right over several decades. Amélie Poinssot reports.
The camp dubbed 'Vietnam City' at Angres, 100 kilometres from Calais. © Elisa Perrigueur
Each year many Vietnamese migrants arrive in France after trekking across Europe in their long and arduous bid to get to the United Kingdom. For hundreds of them the last stop before their attempt to cross the English Channel is a discreet camp at Angres one hundred kilometres from the Port of Calais and which is known locally as 'Vietnam City'. The camp is controlled by traffickers, who are fiercely protective of their 'prime location' next to the main motorway to the Channel and next to a service station where UK-bound lorries park. But as Elisa Perrigueur reports, even if the Vietnamese migrants do make it to Britain, many will find themselves working as modern day slaves on illegal cannabis farms.
Standingtogether: Nicolas Sarkozy and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. © Reuters
Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been placed under formal investigation for corruption over Libyan funding of his election campaign, has denied claims that he took money as part of a corrupt arrangement with Muammar Gaddafi's regime. He has also sought to rubbish accusations that as part of a corrupt pact he helped further the cause of Libya and some of its key figures. But here Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske detail the evidence showing that the former head of state did indeed serve the interests of Gaddafi's dictatorial regime.
Charles Aznavour in Hollywood on August 24th, 2017, as his star is unveiled on the 'Walk of Fame'. © Reuters
In 2007 the famous French singer Charles Aznavour set up a holding company in Luxembourg to receive the dividends he gets from French companies that handle his royalties. More recently members of his family also became involved in this perfectly legal set-up. The result is that this veteran French entertainer, who is resident in Switzerland, and some of his family now pay little tax in France on the proceeds from his music. Romaric Godin reports.
The international police body Interpol severed all links with football's governing organisation FIFA after the latter's corruption scandal erupted in 2015. But it has maintained partnerships with both the committee organising the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who are at the centre of corruption investigations. This is despite the fact that leading police officers from across Europe tried to alert Interpol over these potentially dangerous links. Mathieu Martinière and Robert Schmidt from the independent journalistic collective We Report investigate.