Press review
28 June 2024

Press review – Week of 24 June 2024

This week, the press review covers the conviction of Jean-Paul Huchon for illegal taking of interests, the case of Jean-Christophe Cambadélis who is being prosecuted for misappropriation of representative mandate expense allowances, Wikileaks founder’s release after having pleaded guilty, the prosecution's requisitions during the appeal trial regarding the financial chapter of the Karachi attack, the European Commission’s accusation against Apple and the 400 000 euros fine imposed to Disneyland Paris for misleading commercial practices.

 

#White collar crime:

Jean-Paul Huchon, former president of the Ile-de-France region, was convicted to an eight-month suspended prison sentence for illegal taking of interests

On 26 June 2024, the former president of the Ile-de-France region, Jean-Paul Huchon, was convicted to an eight-month suspended prison sentence, a 10,000 euros fine and a one-year ineligibility period in a case regarding a 60,000 euros subsidy awarded in 2014 to the Green Lotus association under potentially irregular conditions, this association being in fact run by Jean-Marc Brûlé, then elected to the regional council. The court found that Jean-Paul Huchon had “knowingly carried out an act characteristic of the taking of illegal interest”, of which he was “necessarily aware” given his “extensive political experience”. > Read article

Misappropriation of mandate funds: suspended sentence and fine requested against Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, former first secretary of the socialist party

On Monday, 24 June 2024, an eight-month suspended prison sentence, 60,000 euros fine and a five-year ineligibility were requested against the former parliamentarian, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, being prosecuted for the improper use of his representative mandate expense allowance (IRFM) during his last two years in office. The latter is alleged to have used 114,057 euros of his IRFM for personal purposes. The criminal court will deliver its judgment on 4 September. > Read article

Karachi trial: the prosecution calls for clemency, why? A look back at a complex case

The appeal trial concerning the financial aspects of the Karachi attack in 2002 ended on 19 June 2024, after a 3-week trial. Nearly 30 years after the events, the judges of the Paris Court of Appeal plunged back into the financing of Edouard Balladur’s presidential campaign in 1995, which was suspected to have been partly financed by illegal kickbacks from arms contracts concluded with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. At first instance, 6 defendants were convicted. On appeal, the prosecution’s recommendations were more lenient, reflecting the decision of the French Court of Justice in 2021 which acquitted former Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, of complicity and concealment of misappropriation of corporate assets. The Public Prosecutor’s Office, not wishing to go against the analysis of the French Court of Justice, requested particularly the acquittal of Nicolas Bazire, who had been sentenced in the first instance to five years’ imprisonment, including a two-year suspended sentence. > Read article

 

#Ethics & Compliance:

Julian Assange, free but not cleared

Following a hearing in a federal court in the Mariana Islands, Wikileaks founder, Julien Assange, has been released. He accepted a plea bargain with the United States, under which he was convicted under the Federal Espionage Act of the crime of obtaining and disclosing national defense information, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, equivalent to his detention time in the UK. After fourteen years of proceedings, Julian Assange, now free, was able to return to Australia. > Read article

 

#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations:

EU competition rules: the Commission paves the way for heavy financial penalties against Apple

On Monday, 24 June 2024, the European Commission considered heavy financial penalties against Apple for violating competition rules. The investigation focuses on Apple’s anti-competitive practices, particularly regarding its App Store access conditions, which many developers deem unfair and illegal according to the Digital Market Act (DMA). If these violations are confirmed, Apple could face significant fines. This initiative marks an important step in the EU’s regulation of tech giants, aiming to promote fair competition and protect consumers and businesses in the European single market. > Read article

Disneyland Paris fined 400,000 euros for “misleading commercial practices”

EuroDisney, the operator of the Disneyland Paris site, has just been fined 400,000 euros for misleading commercial practices by the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control). The theme park was accused of imposing restrictive conditions on users who purchased annual passes. Access to the park was in fact subject to mandatory pre-reservation for each visit, making it impossible for users to visit the park on their desired dates. The DGCCRF highlighted the presence of daily quotas that restricted access to the park for annual pass holders. > Read article

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