Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Second black box found at Air Algérie crash site in Mali

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

France

Mitterrand threatens legal action to clear his name

Latest update : 2009-10-10

Frédéric Mitterrand, the French culture minister facing pressure to resign over a book in which he describes paying for "boys" in Thailand, has threatened to take legal action over what he describes as a "campaign of insensitive calumny".

AFP - French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand was in the spotlight Saturday for standing as character reference for two rapists after a row over his admission of paying "boys" for sex.
  
Mitterrand, an urbane television personality and a nephew of former Socialist president Francois Mitterrand adopted a pugnacious tone and threatened legal action over what he said was a "new orchestrated campaign of insensitive calumny."
  
The minister "will launch legal action against those who are complicit in the latest ignominy he has suffered," a statement read out at a news conference in the southwestern town of Bordeaux quoted Mitterrand as saying.
  
The latest scandal emerged just after Mitterrand managed to retain his job following a fresh furore over his 2005 autobiographical novel "La Mauvaise Vie" (The Bad Life) in which the hero describes paying Asian boys for sex.
  
Mitterrand had angrily denied having ever engaged in paedophile acts or condoning sex tourism.
  
"I absolutely condemn sexual tourism (and) I condemn paedophilia in which I have never in any way participated, and all the people who accuse me of that type of thing should be ashamed," the 62 year old told TF1 television.
  
The latest controversy emerged after a French newspaper said Mitterrand had testified to the "good character" of two youths in the French overseas territory of La Reunion charged with the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl.
  
The minister on Saturday said he was godfather to one of the youths, whose mother is a former make-up artist, and underlined that his letter attesting to their good moral character was a "gesture of compassion and generosity" to a "modest" family in "great distress."
  
He underlined that he had met one of the youths "three times in (my) life."
  
"Is it not a shame that this letter has found its way in all the Internet networks?" he said, calling it an "ignominy," a "shame," and "manipulation."
  
Le Quotidien de la Reunion newspaper on Friday published a letter that Mitterrand, who was then director of the Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome, had written to the court.
  
The three youths were charged with rape and sentenced to between eight and 15 years in prison.
  
Said Larifou, one of the lawyers for the boys' families, told AFP he was filing a suit against the leaking of the letter, saying it "should never have appeared in the public domain."
  
The controversy over Mitterrand's book erupted this week after his staunch defence of fugitive film-maker Roman Polanski, arrested in Switzerland on a US warrant on child sex charges.

Date created : 2009-10-10

COMMENT(S)