Press review
10 November 2023

Press review – Week of 6 November 2023

This week, the press review looks back at the trials of the former deputy director of the Bordeaux Criminal Investigation Department and the French minister of justice, Eric Dupont-Moretti, as well as the decision to reject the claim for whistleblower status by the former director of the French wage guarantee scheme. In addition, a corruption scandal forces the resignation of the Portuguese Prime Minister, and the NGO Sherpa files a complaint against four French banks for their alleged role in deforestation linked to intensive cattle farming in Brazil.

 

#White collar crime: Illegal taking of interest: Eric Dupond-Moretti defends himself vigorously

Eric Dupont-Moretti’s trial opened this Monday 6 November before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR). Dupont-Moretti is on trial on charges of taking illegal interest, having used his new position as head of the Ministry of Justice to “take revenge on magistrates” with whom he had had disagreements when he was a lawyer. The Minister was heard on the second day and denied any action on his part to “accelerate or impose a procedure”, claiming that he had merely followed the “recommendations” of his departments. The hearing will end on 16 November. > Read article

 

#Anti-bribery and corruption: In Portugal, a corruption scandal forces the resignation of Prime Minister Antonio Costa

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa tendered his resignation on Tuesday 7 November after eight years at the head of the government. This announcement follows the corruption scandal in which he is allegedly involved, which led to the provisional detention of his chief of staff, the indictment of the infrastructure minister, the opening of an “autonomous investigation” against Mr. Costa and the searches carried out at his residence on the same day. Although he denies the accusations against him, namely that he intervened in the irregular award of two concessions for the exploitation of lithium mines and a green hydrogen production plant, he considered that such suspicions hanging over his person could not be compatible with his office. > Read article

 

Deforestation in Brazil: four French banks targeted by money-laundering complaint

The NGO Sherpa is accusing BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, the BPCE group and Axa of profiting from illegal deforestation in the Amazon Forest by financing the Brazilian beef industry. Drawing on the many revelations published in recent years about the damaging effects of intensive cattle farming in Brazil, the NGO has just filed a complaint against these banks with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office for money laundering and concealing environmental crimes.> Read article

 

#Criminal law: “Complicity in drug trafficking”: a suspended sentence was requested against the deputy head of the Bordeaux Criminal Investigation Department

The public prosecutor has requested a two-year suspended prison sentence for Stéphane Lapeyre, the former number 3 at OFAST (French anti-drug Office), and Jocelyn Berret, his former subordinate. They are said to have organized the importation of cocaine from French Guiana, thus making it possible to commit the offence, not just to prove it. One of the informers, against whom the prosecutor requested a three-year prison sentence, is said to have collected 80,000 euros with the approval of the drug office, enabling another defendant to acquire the cocaine in French Guiana and have it transported to mainland France. The decision has been reserved until 20 December. > Read article

 

Unédic: former AGS director’s application for whistleblower status rejected

On Tuesday November 7, the Conseil des prud’hommes (labour court) in Paris rejected the claim of Houria Aouimeur, the former director of the French wage guarantee scheme (AGS), who believed she was entitled to whistleblower status for having uncovered the embezzlement of several billion euros within the compensation scheme for employees of companies in difficulty. Ms Aouimeur, who was hired in 2018, was tasked with verifying the use of funds paid out by the AGS by administrators and court-appointed representatives. > Read article

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