Press review
12 May 2023

Press review – Week of 8 May 2023

This week in the news, François Ruffin was dismissed by the ECHR, and a judicial investigation was opened for suspicions of embezzlement and breach of trust surrounding the Marianne fund. The former director of the Nantes classical music festival was sentenced by the criminal court to three years’ imprisonment for misuse of corporate assets, breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds. Finally, the PNF opened an investigation against the French giant Thales for suspected corruption in India and the European Commission is adopting stricter rules to fight corruption. Navacelle looks at the impact of international sanctions in international litigation and arbitration. In criminal law, a former Rwandan gendarme exiled in France will be tried by the Paris Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity against the Tutsi people.

 

Squarcini/LVMH case: François Ruffin dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights

On 4 May, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled inadmissible the applications of MP François Ruffin (LFI) against the judicial convention of public interest (CJIP) that allowed the LVMH group to avoid prosecution against the payment of a fine of 10 million euros in the Squarcini case for influence peddling. François Ruffin argued that the agreement was intended to “cover up allegedly criminal acts of private espionage and infiltration” of the newspaper Fakir that “infringed” their privacy and freedom of expression. However, the ECHR found “no apparent violation of the right of access to a court.” > Read article

 

Marianne Fund: a judicial investigation opened for “misappropriation of funds” and “breach of trust”

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) confirms the opening of a judicial investigation into the management of the Marianne fund, created at the initiative of Marlène Schiappa and intended to fight radicalisation, for suspicions of misappropriation of public funds, breach of trust and illegal taking of interest. Journalists from the magazine Marianne and France Télévisions have highlighted possible irregularities in the allocation of subsidies to associations. In particular, they noted that 330,000 euros had been allocated to the association Reconstruire le commun for the production of videos, some of which had a strong political content, attacking personalities in opposition to Emmanuel Macron. > Read article

 

Former director of La Folle Journée sentenced to three years of imprisonment for misappropriation of public funds

Joëlle Kerivin, the former director of the famous Nantes classical music festival La Folle Journée, was sentenced by the Nantes criminal court to three years’ imprisonment, 26 months of which were suspended. The remaining 10 months of imprisonment were arranged ab initio in house arrest under electronic surveillance (DDSE). She was found guilty of misuse of corporate assets, breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds. Additionally, she will have to repay her debts of 293,000 euros to the victim institutions. Joëlle Kerivin had admitted the facts and indicated that part of the embezzled funds were used to buy high-end clothes. > Read article

 

French group Thales targeted by investigation for suspected corruption in India

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) has opened a preliminary investigation against the giant Thales for suspicions of bribery of a foreign public official and laundering of this offence in India. The suspicions were brought to light by Sanjay Bandhari, an Indian intermediary who claims to have been recruited by Thales to help the French group obtain a 1.6 billion euro contract in exchange for an oral commitment by Thales to pay him 9 million euros upon signature and 11 million upon payment of the funds in order to bribe Indian political figures. Thales says it has not been questioned by the PNF and contests all the allegations of this intermediary considering that it has “never entered into a contract with him or any of his companies.” > Read article

 

Fight against corruption: stricter rules to fight corruption in the EU and worldwide

On 3 May 2023, the European Commission issued a directive on the fight against corruption at national and EU levels. The Commission is stepping up its efforts to integrate corruption prevention measures into the design of EU policies and programmes and will support Member States in their policy implementation. These new measures focus on prevention and building a culture of integrity while strengthening enforcement tools. > Read article

 

The impact of international sanctions in international litigation and arbitration.

International sanctions which are political, diplomatic and public international law measures also affect commercial relations. Navacelle summarizes the consequences for international litigation and arbitration. > Read publication

 

Rwanda: Former gendarme on trial in France for genocide and crimes against Tutsis

Nearly 25 years after fleeing Rwanda to France under a false identity, former Rwandan gendarme Philippe Manier, alias Philippe Hategekimana, is suspected of having participated in the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda and will appear before the Paris Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and participation in a conspiracy to prepare these crimes. This case is in addition to four other trials in France linked to the genocide in Rwanda, two of which have been finally disposed of. The former gendarme contests the facts. > Read article

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