Comment la police a saboté la manifestation du 12 décembre 2020. Enquête vidéo. © Mediapart
Mediapart has gathered and analysed hundreds of videos taken during a demonstration staged in Paris on December 12th 2020 against the French government's controversial “global security” law. Our investigation shows the unlawful nature of dozens of police charges carried out that day. It also documents the arbitrary arrests of demonstrators, baton blows given for no reason and the misleading statements made by interior minister Gérald Darmanin, especially over the nature and outcome of the arrests made. Sébastien Bourdon, Camille Polloni, Antton Rouget and Antoine Schirer investigate.
From left: Sébastien Bazin, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Nicolas Sarkozy and Michel Platini. © Simon Toupet / Mediapart. Photos AFP
In an ongoing judicial investigation in France into suspected corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar, evidence seized at the Paris offices of US firm Colony Capital suggests a well-remunerated post handed to Laurent Platini, son of former football star and UEFA president Michel Platini, by Qatari sovereign fund QSI may have been linked to its purchase of French football club PSG. The probe is focused on a crucial lunch meeting at the Élysée Palace in 2010 hosted by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and attended among others by Michel Platini and the then crown prince of Qatar. Yann Philippin unravels a complex case involving heads of state, business, diplomacy and arrangements behind closed doors.
The French military has banned soldiers from posting sensitive information online. However, via a number of different apps Mediapart has managed to discover the profiles of more than 800 French troops deployed abroad and the profiles of more than 200 special forces soldiers. The military's general staff meanwhile is reluctant to discuss the precise measures that have been taken to contain a problem that could put the security of military personnel and their operations at risk, especially from terrorists who target French troops abroad. Justine Brabant and Sébastien Bourdon report.
Paris-based football star Ali Benarbia told to repay 4m euros in tax after claiming he lived in QatarAli Bernarbia was a member of the 'dream team' of football pundits on RMC Sport from 2010 to 2019. © RMC Sport
Ali Benarbia, the former Manchester City and Monaco player who became a prominent television sports pundit on French television and radio, has been told to pay back taxes of just under 4 million euros by the French tax authorities. Mediapart has learnt that the former Algerian international was paid via a fictitious company in Qatar and claimed to be living in the Middle Eastern country. In fact, he and his family were resident in Paris, tax investigators found. Yann Philippin and Matthieu Suc report.
Nicolas Sarkozy at Nice in May 2019. © Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
When Nicolas Sarkozy was being questioned by judges over claims that his 2007 president election campaign was part-funded by the Libyan regime, he agreed to hand over his official diaries from that period. However, Mediapart understands that his lawyer has now told the judges that the former president is unable to provide any of them. This sudden about-face comes right in the middle of Nicolas Sarkozy's ongoing corruption trial, in which those very same diaries play a prominent role. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
Michel Platini in Bern, Switzerland, August 31st 2020. © Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Mediapart has learnt that the prosecution authorities in Switzerland are investigating the former French football star and ex-head of European football body UEFA Michel Platini for alleged fraud over a 1.8 million euro payment he received in 2011. That payment was made by Sepp Blatter, then head of world football's governing body FIFA, who also faces a similar probe. Yann Philippin reports.
CCTV images captured the illegal arrests of six innocent young men in April 2019, and the moment one officer fired at their vehicle (full video in the article page).
As incidents of police violence and the failure of the authorities to effectively address the issue continue to occupy public debate in France, Mediapart reveals here, with video footage, the violent and illegal arrests in Paris of six innocent young men by gun-wielding officers, one of whom fired bullets into their car. In what has all the appearance of a cover-up, not only was one of the six victims sent for trial for violence, but the officer who shot at him without any justification is still on duty because, the police administration claimed, prosecutors concluded he acted in self-defence. Which is untrue. Pascale Pascariello and Armel Baudet report.
An image taken seconds before the mega-blast in the port of Beirut on August 4th 2020, as analysed by Forensic Architecture. © Forensic Architecture © FA
On August 4th this year, a huge explosion ripped through the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut and the surrounding city neighbourhoods, killing more than 200 people, wounding more than 6,500 others and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. It was so powerful that the shockwaves and tremors it caused were recorded hundreds of kilometres away. Now, London-based independent research group Forensic Architecture has produced a remarkable video report with 3D imaging, using documented evidence and expert input, to piece together a precise chronology of the multiple causes of the explosion, and which Mediapart presents here.
Two UAE Mirage fighters pictured at the Sidi Barrani base in Egypt on May 5th 2020. © Satellite image © 2020 Maxar Technologies
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is actively involved in Libya’s civil war in support of warlord Khalifa Haftar’s campaign to topple the UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli. That military support involves the deployment of the UAE’s French-built Mirage fighter planes, which are suspected of firing missiles at civilian sites, representing potential war crimes. Those same aircraft are given technical maintenance and upgrades by French defence firms acting with government approval, raising serious questions about France’s compliance with international law.
Screen grab of Lionel Lavergne during one of the hearings at the National Assembly into the Benalla affair. © DR
The name of senior gendarme officer Lionel Lavergne cropped up during an investigation into a Corsican 'mafia' godfather in 2014, Mediapart has learnt. Yet despite the astonishing contents of phone-taps in the case, that same year the gendarme was appointed number two in charge of protecting the president at the Élysée. When subsequently told by a senior official at the Élysée that he would not get promoted to the top post, Colonel Lavergne retorted: “You don't know who you are dealing with.” He later got the top post, working as head of Élysée security for presidents François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron from 2017 to 2019. Matthieu Suc and Brendan Kemmet report on the results of a Mediapart investigation that goes back five years.