Press review
29 March 2024

Press review – Week of 25 March 2024

This week, the press review covers the opening of proceedings against Google, Apple and Meta by the European Commission for infringement of the Digital Markets Act, the sanctions infringed on Russian persons and entities following the death of Alexei Navalny, the conviction of a lawyer and two journalists for financing terrorism and of “the Madoff from Maine et Loire” for embezzlement, and the indictment of a city mayor of Hérault for misappropriation of funds, illegal taking of interests and corruption.

 

#International Commercial dispute:

EU initiates proceedings against Apple, Google and Meta for breaches of competition regulations

Following the entry into force of the “Digital Markets Act” on March 6, the European Commission decided on Monday to open several proceedings against Apple, Google and Meta for breaches of the new Regulation. The aim of the Regulation is to put an end to abuses of dominant positions by major digital companies, with a view to protecting and developing the European digital market. The measures taken by the American giants are insufficient for the moment, according to the European Commission. The European executive hopes to ensure that these companies comply with competition rules, thanks to its renewed power to impose fines of up to 20% of worldwide sales in the event of a repeated offence, or to require the dismantling of offenders. > Read article

 

#Ethics & Compliance:

Death of Alexei Navalny: EU sanctions thirty-three individuals and two entities under its global human rights sanctions regime

Through a press release dated on 22 March 2024, the Council of Europe announced the implementation of restrictive measures against 33 Russian persons and entities linked to the sudden death in a prison of Russian political opponent Alexeï Navalny. These measures are aimed at public agents and high-level officials in the penitentiary system suspected of having mistreated the Russian opponent during his period of incarceration. Also targeted by these measures are members of the judiciary such as the judge who sentenced Alexeï Navalny to 19 years in prison. > Read article

 

#White collar crime:

Terrorist financing: a lawyer and two journalists sentenced by the Paris court

The Paris Criminal Court has handed down sentences ranging from 10 months to 3 years’ suspended imprisonment to the former lawyer of jihadists and two journalists for transferring funds to members of the Islamic State organization (“IS”). The ex-lawyer admitted bribing an Iraqi army officer in order to protect jihadist Maximilien Thibaut in 2017 but rejected charges of financing terrorism. The journalists, who wrote an investigative book about French women who have joined the IS, were on trial for transferring funds to exfiltrate women from Syria or Iraq and for taking part in the operation to protect Maximilien Thibaut. Three other defendants were also on trial for sending several thousand euros to their children who had left to join the IS. > Read article

Embezzlement in Angevine nobility: the “Madoff from Maine et Loire“ convicted to two years of prison

The correctional Court of Paris convicted on the 28 March a man nicknamed “the Madoff from Maine et Loire“ to five years of prison, including three years of suspended sentence, in a case of embezzlement. He was prosecuted for losing 10.6 million euros from dozens of people he had convinced to invest in his investment fund. The company, founded in 2012 on the promise of exceptional outputs thanks to algorithmic trading, has however only known losses until it went bankrupt in 2014, while its founders led a luxurious lifestyle between Italy, France and Singapore. Although judges found him guilty, they have however decided that victims were responsible for not inquiring enough about the fund and awarded damages covering only 40% of the victims’ prejudice. > Read article

Trapped by a medium, a French mayor in the Hérault region is investigated and imprisoned for corruption

Gilles d’Ettore, a mayor of the Hérault region, has been investigated and remanded in custody for misappropriation of funds by a person in a position of public authority, illegal taking of interests and corruption. He was tricked then bribed by a medium who used a ploy to change her voice with several interlocutors, enabling her to obtain a number of services of various kinds, such as the recruitment of five members of her family to work for the municipality. > Read article

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