Press review
30 June 2023

Press review – Week of 26 June 2023

This week's press review presents the decision by the Cour de cassation to initiate a review of the trial of former CEO of Orange Stéphane Richard and government official Jean-François Rocchi in the controversial 2008 arbitration between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais. In addition, Anticor loses its accreditation. Also, the European Commission accuses Google of abusing of dominant position, and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has published a set of new rules to combat corporate greenwashing. Finally, the former head of Audi was given a 21-month suspended prison sentence in the “Dieselgate” case.


Tapie case: the French Supreme Court orders a new trial for Stéphane Richard and Jean-François Rocchi

On Wednesday 28 June, the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) ordered a retrial of former CEO of Orange Stéphane Richard and government official Jean-François Rocchi for complicity in the misappropriation of public funds in connection with the controversial 2008 arbitration between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais.

Following the recommendation of the Public Prosecutor, the French Supreme Court censured the conviction of Stéphane Richard and Jean-François Rocchi, ruling that they could not be held guilty of complicity in the misappropriation of public funds, as the Court of Appeal had recognized that they were “unaware of the fraudulent nature of the arbitration“. In 2016, Christine Lagarde had also been found guilty by the French Court of Justice, but exempted from punishment, for failing to appeal against the ruling handed down to her former chief of staff, Jean-François Rocchi. The decision of the Court of Appeal, which had declared the French State’s civil action admissible, was also overturned by the Court of Cassation. > Read article


Anticor loses its accreditation and denounces “a serious attack on freedom of association”, elected representatives from the left to the far right take offence

On Friday, June 23, the Paris Administrative Court (le tribunal administratif de Paris) canceled, with retroactive effect from April 2, 2021, Anticor’s accreditation to initiate legal action in corruption and breach of trust cases, especially in the event of the public prosecutor’s office’s inaction. Anticor can no longer bring a civil action without its accreditation unless it can demonstrate a “direct and personal prejudice.” This decision will also apply to cases Anticor initiated after April 2021. The association has submitted a new accreditation application for approval. > Read article


Online advertising: Google accused of “abuse of dominant position” by Brussels

As part of an ongoing investigation, the European Commission has deemed that Google abused its dominant position in display advertising technologies by favoring its services. This announcement comes at a time when Google is the subject of several similar investigations, notably in the United States and the United Kingdom. If the Commission concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, it could impose a fine of up to 10% of Google’s worldwide annual turnover. Google has previously been fined a total of €8 billion in the European Union for various anti-competitive practices. > Read article


New rules aim to clamp down on corporate greenwashing

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) published new global guidelines aimed at compelling companies to disclose information on the impact of climate change on their activities, emissions, with checks by external auditors. The new rules are built on the voluntary standards of the G20’s Climate Disclosure Task Force. These rules are intended to help regulators combat greenwashing. The European Union, for its part, is expected to publish its own rules, as well as guidelines to avoid duplication for international companies. It will be up to each country to decide whether to require listed companies to apply these standards. > Read article


Dieselgate: 21-month suspended prison sentence for the former CEO of Audi

After more than two years of trial in Munich, the former CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler, was sentenced on June 27, to a 21-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of €1.1 million for negligent fraud in the 2015 Dieselgate case. Audi’s parent group Volkswagen was accused of using illegal software to obtain diminished results on emissions tests. The former CEO was accused of failing to stop the sale of manipulated cars after the scandal was exposed. He had previously denied the allegations but later pleaded guilty, at the court’s suggestion, to benefit from a lighter sentence. > Read article

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