Press review
16 February 2024

Press review – Week of 12 February 2024

This week’s press review looks back at the legacy of former French minister of Justice Robert Badinter who recently passed away, the Paris Court of Appeal’s ruling against Nicolas Sarkozy regarding the “Bygmalion” case, the conviction of a figure of Paris’ night life for corruption and the fine imposed on the chocolatier De Neuville by the French Competition Authority for restricting commercial freedom.

 

Robert Badinter, a monument of justice

Former minister of Justice and president of the constitutional Council, Robert Badinter, passed away on February 9. After escaping the deportation during the war, M. Badinter became a lawyer in 1951, a profession he practiced until 1981 when he was appointed minister of Justice by French President François Mitterrand. The same year, he supported the law abolishing the death penalty in France. In 1986, he was appointed president of the constitutional Council, a position he held until 1995. He was then elected Senator, an office he held until 2011. During the national tribute that was held on February 14, President Emmanuel Macron announced the coming entrance of M. Badinter in the Pantheon, a monument in which France pays tribute to its most eminent figures. > Read article

 

#White collar crime

“Bygmalion” case : Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to six months’ imprisonment

The Paris Court of Appeal has sentenced Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison, including 6 months suspended, in the “Bygmalion” case. He was prosecuted for illegally financing his 2012 re-election campaign. The candidate was accused of having exceeded the amount of authorized spending. The sentence is lower than the one handed down by the first instance court, but harsher than the one requested by the public prosecutor, who had asked for 1 year’s imprisonment suspended in its entirety. The sentence handed down will be commuted, so Nicolas Sarkozy will not go to prison. However, Vincent Desry, the former French President’s lawyer, has already announced that he will appeal to the French Supreme Court. > Read article

 

#Anti-bribery and corruption:

«King of Parisian Nights»: 24 months suspended prison sentence for Laurent de Gourcuff

Laurent Gourcuff, owner of several restaurants and nightclubs, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and banned from managing a business for five years, for active corruption. His holding company was also sentenced to an exclusion from public tenders for five years. Initially, the proceedings were directed against him for influence peddling and favoritism, in relation to his attempt to secure a 12-year concession contract for the Longchamp racecourse in 2018. > Read article

 

#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations:

The Competition Authority imposes over four million euros in fines on the chocolatier De Neuville

On February 15 2024, the chocolatier De Neuville and its parent company, the international group Savencia, were fined 4.07 million euros by the Competition Authority for restricting the commercial freedom of its franchisees. The regulator found that, between 2006 and 2014, the franchise contracts entered into by De Neuville aimed at restricting its franchisees’ ability to sale products online, as well as to professionals. > Read article

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