Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mozambique: top constitutional lawyer killed in Maputo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Online reactions to Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

Read more

DEBATE

Netanyahu on Capitol Hill: Israeli PM calls for deal breaker with Iran (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

Netanyahu on Capitol Hill: Israeli PM calls for deal breaker with Iran

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tangerine Dream. Afropolitan star Yemi Alade drops in

Read more

FOCUS

Denmark: How to stop the radicalisation of young people?

Read more

ENCORE!

'Deep Down Dark': Telling the story of the 33 trapped Chilean miners

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Hong Kong's umbrella revolution 'is not dead'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media reactions to Boris Nemtsov's murder

Read more

Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2011-09-23

Karachigate: a "curious" communiqué

The French papers focus on the latest political scandal 'Karachigate' as people wonder whether the dirt this time could stick at the highest level. Two of Nicolas Sarkozy's associates have been formally accused and the President has issued a swift rebuff saying he had no role. But the press is asking whether he doth protest too much. That's the focus for this look at the French press, Friday 23rd September 2011.

Le Figaro is leading on what is being called “Karachigate” here in France, an illegal campaign-funding scandal that came to light following a bombing in Karachi in Pakistan in 2002 in which 11 French nationals were killed.

The paper headlines: “The Elysée condemns political manipulation”. Two of Nicolas Sarkozy’s associates - Nicolas Bazire, the best man at his wedding, and Thierry Gaubert - have been formally accused of handling kickbacks on arms contracts with Pakistan. Investigators are looking into whether sums of money from the kickbacks went into the coffers of the presidential election campaign of a former prime minister Edouard Balladur in the mid 90s. Nicolas Sarkozy has spelt out in a communiqué that he was a Balladur spokesman at the time and not the director of his campaign and had no role in raising campaign funds.

While Le Figaro reports the official line from the Elysée, Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France describes the press release as “curious”. “Is the presidency losing its nerve”, it asks? The paper argues that the Elysée has been clumsy by saying that Sarkozy’s name does not appear on any of the paperwork related to the scandal when in fact the president does not have access to it.

Le Monde Online is reporting that French judicial officials are now accusing the Elysée of violating the secrecy of the documents. (NB: the paper says “violating” - violé - and not “having stolen” – volé - as stated in error on air.)

Papers are also looking at two women who have emerged centre stage in the scandal. France Soir headlines: “La princesse qui fait trembler Balladur et énerve l’Elysée” (“The princess rocking Balladur and upsetting the Elysée") along with a photo of Hélène de Yougoslavie who is a descendant of the last king of Italy and Thierry Gaubert’s wife. Hélène de Yougoslavie has told investigators her husband accompanied an intermediary, Ziad Takieddine, to Switzerland to pick up cash-stuffed suitcases on several occasions in the period 1994-1995. Papers are showing the princess along with Nicola Johnson, Takieddine’s former wife, who has also spoken to investigators. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France paper describes the revelations by the two women as “explosive”.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-03-02 Marine Le Pen

French local elections: April 21st all over again?

FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 02.03.15: Papers focus on departmental elections scheduled for March 22nd. The far-right National Front party is expected to do very well, as it has in...

Read more

2015-03-02 Russian politics

Nemtsov murder: 'Calculated political violence'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Mon. 02.03.15: Papers across the world focus on the death of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday. Who's behind his...

Read more

2015-02-27 Islamic State (IS) group

'Jihadi John' unmasked

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 27.02.15: "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State Group militant pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages has been identified by...

Read more

2015-02-26 epidemic

Vicious flu epidemic hits France

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 26.02.15: French papers focus on a particularly vicious flu epidemic that's hitting France this winter, Westerners heading to Syria to fight against the...

Read more

2015-02-26 Venezuela

'Venezuela is running out of toilet paper'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 26.02.15: There's lots of focus on unrest in Venezuela after the shooting of a 14-year-old anti-government protester in the western city of San...

Read more