Press review
6 October 2023

Press review – Week of 2 October 2023

This week, the Navacelle press review looks back at the search of the home of the former mayor of Saint-Jory as part of a corruption case, the investigation into the Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona for active corruption involving the Spanish refereeing committee, the series of proposals aiming at tackling grand corruption impunity published by the NGO Transparency International, the US Department of Justice’s investigation into Credit Suisse and UBS over compliance failures that enabled Russian clients to circumvent sanctions, as well as the criminal complaint against TotalEnergies for failure to failure to fight a disaster and manslaughter. Finally, Navacelle analyzes the partial declaration of unconstitutionality in the Fillon case and the clarifications made by the French Judicial Supreme Court on systematic denunciations by the tax authorities to the judicial authorities.

 

Suspected corruption in Saint-Jory: the courts conducted several searches

 The home of the mayor of Saint-Jory, a town near Toulouse, was searched for alleged corruption leading to personal enrichment and involving three property developers related to the Saint-Jory municipality . The mayor had already been indicted the previous week for another case of passive corruption and influence peddling and had resigned from his position. > Read article

 

Barcelona under investigation for suspected bribery in refereeing case

The Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona is under investigation for suspected acts of active corruption in the context of suspicions of systemic corruption at the Spanish refereeing committee, which was searched by the police as part of the investigation. In March, a complaint was filed by prosecutors over alleged payments of more than 7 million euros overs 17 years to firms related to the former vice-president of the refereeing committee. Barcelona’s principal rival Real Madrid joined the lawsuit as a damaged party.  > Read the article

 

Tackling grand corruption impunity: proposals for a definition and special measures

The non-governmental organization Transparency International released a working paper laying out countermeasures for fighting grand corruption impunity. These proposals rely on international coordination between jurisdictions, including assistance from the jurisdictions with stronger rule of law to the weaker jurisdictions, and emphasize the role non-state actors and collective action  can have. The national and international measures identified in the report would increase accountability of offenders and improve remedies for the harm they cause.> Read the article

 

UBS and Crédit Suisse targeted by the U.S. justice system for circumventing sanctions

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) intensified its investigation of Credit Suisse and UBS over possible compliance failures that enabled Russian clients to circumvent sanctions. Prior to the war in Ukraine, Credit Suisse managed around $60 billion in assets for Russian clients, an amount which then dropped to around $33 billion (50% more than UBS). The investigation, which started with a simple request for information from the banks, developed into an in-depth investigation focusing on Credit Suisse. > Read the article

 

TotalEnergies targeted by a criminal complaint for “failure to figh a disaster” and “manslaughter”

On Friday 22 September 2022, associations filed a complaint against TotalEnergies before the Nanterre judicial court, claiming that TotalEnergies is pursuing a climate-change policy by developing fossil fuel projects despite scientific recommendations. The complaint targets four offenses: failure to fight a disaster, manslaughter, involuntary injury to the integrity of the person and destruction or damage of property belonging to another likely to create a danger to persons. Unlike previous prosecutions, in this case it is a criminal complaint and not a civil action. > Read the article

 

Fillon saga: Procedural victory before the French Constitutional Council for the former prime minister in the fictitious employment scandal

In response to an application for a priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality (“question prioritaire de constitutionnalité”), the French Constitutional Council partially repealed a provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure that had prevented François Fillon from raising a nullity before the criminal court that had been discovered after closing of the investigation, paving the way for a new trial.> Read the article

 

Procedural framework for automatic denunciations by French tax authorities

On 13 September 2023, the judges on the Quai de l’Horloge strictly applied article L.228 I of the French Tax Procedure Book (Livre des Procédures Fiscales), overturning the decision of the Versailles Court of Appeal, which had held that the failure to attach the assessment notice to the tax authorities’ report to the Public Prosecutor constituted grounds for invalidating the procedure.> Read the article

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