Investigations

  • The Paris attacks trial and the three who slipped away

    By
    Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of one of the perpetrators of the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. © DR Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of one of the perpetrators of the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. © DR

    The trial in Paris of 14 people accused of complicity in the separate January 2015 terrorist attacks in the French capital against Charlie Hebdo magazine, a kosher store, and a policewoman, which left 17 victims dead, opened on Wednesday. Absent from the hearings are three defendants whose fate or eventual whereabouts is unknown. In this second of a two-part report, Matthieu Suc details the story of how the three got away, and the evidence that at least one of them is alive and hiding from justice in the Middle East.

  • The missing 'accomplices' in the Paris terrorist attacks trial

    By
    A mural close to the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine depicting the victims of the January 2015 attack. © Stephane de Sakutin,/AFP A mural close to the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine depicting the victims of the January 2015 attack. © Stephane de Sakutin,/AFP

    The trial of 14 people accused of complicity in the separate January 2015 terrorist attacks in and around the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, against a Jewish food store, and a policewoman, opened in the French capital on Wednesday. The three perpetrators, who murdered a total of 17 people, were themselves shot dead by police. Absent from the hearings are three defendants whose fate or eventual whereabouts is unknown, while others have slipped through the net of the investigations. In this first of a two-part report, Matthieu Suc details the background and chronology of events leading to this marathon trial due to end in November.

     

  • Rwanda seeks extradition from France of genocide suspect uncovered by Mediapart

    By Théo Englebert
    Left to right: an undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo, and pictured on his way to church in February 2020 in Orléans. © DR Left to right: an undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo, and pictured on his way to church in February 2020 in Orléans. © DR

    The Rwandan authorities have issued an international warrant for the arrest and extradition of Aloys Ntiwiragabo, a former head of the country’s military intelligence who is accused of playing a key role in the 1994 genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered, after an investigation by Mediapart revealed that he had settled with his wife in the French town of Orléans.

  • Portuguese housekeepers describe daily ordeal of working for France's upper classes

    By Mickaël Correia
    A typcal housekeeping scene in France; housekeeper Christelle. © Julien Pitinome: Collectif L'Oeil- collectif La Friche A typcal housekeeping scene in France; housekeeper Christelle. © Julien Pitinome: Collectif L'Oeil- collectif La Friche

    France's upper classes look upon housemaids and housekeepers from Portugal as the most honest of domestic staff and as “pearls who they must hold on to at all costs”. Yet behind the walls of these families' sumptuous properties there lurks another world; one in which class differences are very much alive. Mediapart has spoken to Portuguese maids and housekeepers working in the north of France and heard their stories of long hours, unrelenting toil and penny-pinching employers. Mickaël Correia reports.

  • Rwandan genocide suspect Aloys Ntiwiragabo 'has lived in France for 14 years'

    By Théo Englebert
    An undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo from a report by NGO African Rights. An undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo from a report by NGO African Rights.

    In July Mediapart revealed that Rwandan colonel Aloys Ntiwiragabo, who is suspected of playing an important role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis, was now living in Orléans in France. Now we can reveal that the former head of Rwandan military intelligence has been living here for at least 14 years. Yet, curiously, paperwork acknowledging his request for political asylum in France was only sent to him in February 2020. The fact that his asylum application has only been made recently raises questions about what Aloys Ntiwiragabo's status had been in the meantime - and whether he had received discreet support. Théo Englebert reports.

     

  • The children who vanish from Charles de Gaulle airport

    By Leïla Miñano (Investigate Europe)
    An aerial view of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. © MUSTAFA YALCIN / Anadolu Agency via AFP An aerial view of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. © MUSTAFA YALCIN / Anadolu Agency via AFP

    Over recent years there have been numerous cases of unaccompanied Vietnamese minors who have simply disappeared after arriving in France at the main Paris airport of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. Although supposed to be placed into the safe care of social services, the children are in fact led away by ruthless people traffickers, to be kept in conditions of slavery. This report was compiled in partnership with the journalistic collective Investigate Europe.

  • How Mediapart tracked down Rwandan genocide suspect Aloys Ntiwiragabo in France

    By Théo Englebert
    On the left, an undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo ; on the right, photographed in February 2020. © DR On the left, an undated photo of Aloys Ntiwiragabo ; on the right, photographed in February 2020. © DR

    France's anti-terrorism prosecution authorities have opened a preliminary investigation for 'crimes against humanity' into Aloys Ntiwiragabo after Mediapart revealed that he was living in a quiet suburb of Orléans, a city 75 miles south-west of Paris. There had been an international search for the former head of military intelligence over his suspected role in the massacre of the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. Aloys Ntiwiragabo, now 72, also founded and led a criminal armed group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which has been blamed for attacks in central Africa. But the Rwandan fugitive disappeared off the radar until Mediapart tracked him down. There are now questions over how France could have allowed him to enter the country and live here undetected. Théo Englebert reports.

  • Former soldier breaks 'code of silence' over sexual violence in French Foreign Legion

    By Sophie Boutboul
    Soldiers from the French Foreign Legion on Bastille Day, 2019, in Paris. © Ludovic MARIN / AFP Soldiers from the French Foreign Legion on Bastille Day, 2019, in Paris. © Ludovic MARIN / AFP

    Alex Held, who joined France's iconic fighting force in 2015, made a formal complaint in December 2019 following the unwanted physical advances of a superior. The former legionnaire, an American, is still seeing a psychiatrist and is taking anti-depressants as a result of his ordeal. The Legion insists that it has “heavily punished” the warrant officer concerned plus two others accused of having failed to raise the alarm. But the punishment administered is at the lower end of those available in a fighting force which sees itself as the “height of virility”. Sophie Boutboul reports.

  • Death of arrested man Cédric Chouviat: how superiors covered up police officers' lies

    By
    Cédric Chouviat, still with his helmet on, held on the ground by three police officers in Paris on January 3rd 2020. © Document Mediapart Cédric Chouviat, still with his helmet on, held on the ground by three police officers in Paris on January 3rd 2020. © Document Mediapart

    Cédric Chouviat, aged 42, died after being arrested and held on the ground by police officers on January 3rd 2020 following a routine roadside check near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The latest evidence in the investigation, which has been seen by Mediapart and newspaper Libération, reveals not only the responsibility of the four arresting officers in the deliveryman's death, but also that of their colleagues and superior officers who became involved after the arrest. Pascale Pascariello reports.

  • French TV star Nagui picked up €100 million deal from public broadcaster

    The TV producer and presenter Nagui is currently negotiating an extension of his contract with France Télévisions. © France Télévisions The TV producer and presenter Nagui is currently negotiating an extension of his contract with France Télévisions. © France Télévisions

    French television star and producer Nagui was given a 100-million-euro three-year contract with public broadcaster France Télévisions, which is largely funded by a television licence paid by the general public, Mediapart can reveal. The revelation falls at a time when the public broadcaster has been forced to cut budgets and offer voluntary redundancies to save money, and will refuel debates about how much of the organisation's money should be spent on trying to keep its high-profile stars. The news that France Télévisions president Delphine Ernottee personally took charge of the negotiations also comes just days before a decision is due on whether she will reappointed when her own contract comes to an end. Michaël Hajdenberg and Antton Rouget report.