Investigations

  • French Socialist leaders 'knew of Strauss-Kahn 2002 sex attack allegations'

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    Anne Mansouret, mai 2011. © Jade Lindgaard Anne Mansouret, mai 2011. © Jade Lindgaard

    French Socialist Party leaders were informed about an alleged sexual assault by Dominique Strauss-Kahn upon 22 year-old journalist Tristane Banon in 2002 but failed to take action, her mother (photo) has told Mediapart. Socialist Party heavyweight Strauss-Kahn was expected to run as the party's candidate in next year's French presidential elections, which opinion polls widely forecast he would win until his arrest May 14th in New York on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.

  • Revealed: how French Football Fed's ethnic graph created a new division

    Following its exclusive revelations of a plan to introduce an ethnic quota on players entering French Football Federation national training academies, Mediapart publishes here a graph (pictured) prepared by federation officials earlier this year that identified in yellow the players in its national youth and senior teams who, because of their family origins, were believed to be "susceptible at any time to play for another sporting nation" by obtaining dual nationality.

  • Exposing the real fraud behind 'welfare-dependent France'

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    Welfare benefit fraud is currently a regular headline topic in the French media, and the ruling UMP conservative right party has made it a campaign issue for next year's presidential and legislative elections. But are France's welfare-dependent, dismissevely described as 'les assistés', really Europe's champion scroungers, as some pretend? Mathieu Magnaudeix argues here, figures in hand, why the issue is a political smokescreen that ignores both the facts and the massive cost of tax fraud and evasion by the well-off.

  • FFF turned deaf ear to French football race quota whistleblower

     © dr © dr

    French Football Federation (FFF) technical advisor Mohamed Belkacemi (photo) has said he was the person who recorded a November 2010 meeting of the federation's National Technical Board in which a plan to introduce ethnic quotas at the federation's football training academies was detailed, as exclusively revealed by Mediapart last week. While FFF chiefs have expressed surprise at the revelations, now the subject of separate internal and ministerial enquiries, Mediapart has now learnt that Belkacemi last autumn alerted a senior FFF official about the plan by handing him a copy of the recording just days after the meeting.

  • French football ethnic quota plan: the verbatim record of the closed-door discussions

    The French Football Federation's national technical director François Blaquart was suspended from his post on Staurday, following Mediapart's revelations that he and members of the technical board (DTN), including France coach Laurent Blanc, discussed a secret plan for an ethnic quota limiting the number of black and Arab youths entering its training academies. Blaquart and Blanc have denied the existence of such a plan. Mediapart exclusively reveals here a transcription of the high-level, closed-door meeting when the quotas were debated by Blanc, Blaquart and other leading figures of French football, which include the following, separate quotes:

    National technical director François Blaquart: "We could trace, on a non-spoken basis, a sort of quota. But it must not be said. It stays as action only."

    U21 year-olds Espoirs team coach Erick Mombaerts: "There are clubs like Lyon who do it in their training academies. They do it systematically.[...] they can't stand it anymore."

    France coach Laurent Blanc: "I'm going to give you the example of the Spanish. They don't have these problems [...] The Spanish, they told me ‘we don't have a problem. Us, we don't have any blacks'."

  • Exclusive: French football chiefs' secret plan to whiten 'les Bleus'

    Laurent Blanc. © (Reuters) Laurent Blanc. © (Reuters)

    Members of the French Football Federation's National Technical Board, including the France team coach Laurent Blanc (pictured), have secretly elaborated a plan to impose quotas on the number of young black players and those of North African origin among the country's youth training centres which groom potential candidates for the national team, Mediapart can reveal in this exclusive investigation.

  • Revealed: the inflationary payroll at 'cost-cutting' French Senate

    French Senate president Gérard Larcher entered office on a high-profile campaign to cut spending and impose budgetary discipline within the French parliament's notoriously lavish upper house. Mediapart this month obtained access to the payroll of the president's private staff, and it reveals anything but austerity. The average monthly salary is 8,500 euros while his principal private secretary earns more than 19,000 euros, just a few hundred euros short of the pay of French Prime Minister François Fillon. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg report.

  • The sting in the tale of Tapie and the Crédit Lyonnais payout

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     © Mediapart © Mediapart

    The controversy over the 403 million euros of public funds awarded in 2008 to French businessman Bernard Tapie in his dispute with French bank Crédit Lyonnais returned to the fore this month, lighting a fuse to a series of scandals-within-the-scandal. Laurent Mauduit reports.

  • From ‘honeymoon’ to war: what US cables said about French courtship of Gaddafi

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    25 juillet 2007, Tripoli © Reuters 25 juillet 2007, Tripoli © Reuters

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy has assumed a high profile in the international military offensive launched to support the rebellion against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. But US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks, and published here by Mediapart, shed a revealing light upon previously sweet relations between Sarkozy and Gaddafi (photo), described by one American ambassador as a "honeymoon" period of "high hopes for lucrative contracts".

  • When France protected on-the-run Balkan war lords

    Ante Gotovina. © (dr) Ante Gotovina. © (dr)

    Mediapart has obtained access to secret notes belonging to a now-retired senior French intelligence officer which establish how for years the French secret services collaborated with suspected war criminals, military officers from the former Yugoslavia, while they were wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) based in The Hague. Among them was Croatian General Ante Gotovina (photo), finally captured in the Canary Islands in 2005, as revealed in this investigation by Jean-Arnault Dérens and Laurent Gesli.