Press review
2 June 2023

Press review – Week of 29 May 2023

This week, the 32nd chamber of the Paris judicial court handed down its first conviction for price manipulation against Thierry Boutin, and an appeal has since been lodged. On the international front, one of the last four fugitives wanted for involvement in the Rwandan genocide, Fulgence Kayishema, was arrested in South Africa, according to UN prosecutors.


Price manipulation: the Paris judicial court strikes hard

On 25 May 2023, the 32nd Criminal Division of the Paris Criminal Court sentenced Thierry Boutin to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and a fine of EUR 2.662 million for artificially inflating the value of Dolphin shares in 2016 and 2017. To do so, he created confusion about its quality and advised investors to acquire Dolphin shares. The investors subsequently lost their entire stake, while Thierry Boutin realised a capital gain of EUR 2.6 million, which he then transferred to a Swiss bank account. As a civil party, the AMF obtained reimbursement of the costs of the investigation and a symbolic payment of one euro. He was not present at the hearing and an arrest warrant was issued against him. An appeal has been lodged. >Read article


In Tahiti, independence leader Oscar Temaru acquitted on appeal after nine years of proceedings

On 24 May 2023, the Court of Appeal in Papeete acquitted pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru after nine years of proceedings on charges of “illegal taking of interests”. He was accused of having a local pro-independence radio station financed by the commune of Faaa, of which he has been mayor for 40 years. Sentenced in the first instance on 10 September 2019 to a suspended six months’ imprisonment sentence and a fine of 5 million Pacific francs, the elected representative and his counsel criticised the political nature of the investigation. In the end, the court ruled that the investigation had “enabled the neutral nature of the programming to be established” demonstrating that the radio station was not a political propaganda tool. However, another case is still pending for “misappropriation of public funds” against the mayor’s office, which paid the costs of the proceedings, and “concealment of misappropriation of public funds” for its defenders. This case has been relocated to Paris. > Read article


Genocide in Rwanda: one of the last wanted fugitives arrested in South Africa

Fulgence Kayishema, a former Rwandan police inspector and fugitive, was arrested on 24 May 2023 in South Africa, according to information from the prosecutors of the “Mechanism”, the UN authority responsible for completing the work of the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda). He is suspected of participating in the murder of more than 2,000 people in the Nyange church, around 15 April 1994. On the run since 2001, he is one of the last four fugitives wanted for the abuses committed during the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. > Read article


Damien Abad, accused of attempted rape, loses his parliamentary immunity

On 3 April, as part of the preliminary investigation into Damien Abad that began in June 2022, the Paris public prosecutor’s office requested that Abad’s parliamentary immunity be lifted. The National Assembly was required to consider whether the request was “serious, fair and sincere” and authorized it on 24 May. The member of Parliament, who was briefly a minister and is now in his third term of office, had said he was in favor of the waiver and would like to be heard on the allegations of sexual assault which he disputes. > Read article


Police officer sentenced in Marseille in connection with telephone trafficking for prisoners

A 42-year-old police officer from Marseilles has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, including 12 months’ suspended sentence, for supplying mobile phones to one of his childhood friends and fellow inmates at the Baumettes prison. The phones were left in the toilets of the courthouse gaols, where a security assistant, who had also been sentenced and had since been converted to a bus driver, retrieved them and passed them on to the prisoner in question. The phones were supplied by the prisoner’s girlfriend, who was also a convicted offender, as well as the girlfriend of another prisoner who received the phones. The police officer was also disciplined. > Read article


Fatal shipwreck in the Channel in 2021: five servicement under investigation

Five servicemen were indicted on 25 May after nine people were taken into custody for failing to assist a person in danger in connection with the shipwreck that claimed the lives of at least 27 people on the night of 23 to 24 November 2021 off the coast of Calais. The migrants called the emergency services when their boat took on water, but were not rescued. It appeared that the operators preferred to wait until the boat reached English waters. The night’s recordings also revealed comments and an attitude on the part of the services present that were described as “shocking” by the victims’ families’ lawyer. The five people charged were also present at the time of the incident. > Read article

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