Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Polish foreign minister: Macron's comments on Poland 'were not necessary'

Read more

FOCUS

Rio mired in economic crisis a year after the Olympics

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

The controversial colonial statue in Senegal; and the centuries-old town in Turkey being destroyed by the govt

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

End of an era: Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'We aren't ready' for a second vote in Kenya and flip-flopping on climate change

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Another Hurricane? It's Maria's turn. And, when's your printer going to stop working?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo: New report says army worked with militias to massacre hundreds in Beni

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

All eyes on Trump and Macron at UN General Assembly

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump goes to the UN: What role for the United States on the world stage?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

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

2017-09-19 climate change

'We aren't ready' for a second vote in Kenya and flip-flopping on climate change

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 19.09.17: With the approach of Hurricane Maria, we take a look at how the international press is covering climate change, including the...

Read more

2017-09-19 Hurricanes & storms

Another Hurricane? It's Maria's turn. And, when's your printer going to stop working?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 19.09.17: French papers are focusing again on hurricanes, this time the approach of Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean. Closer to home, Les Echos has...

Read more

2017-09-18 Donald Trump

'Rocket Man' and Trump's right-hand gal at the UN

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Mon. 18.09.17: We take a look at what might be discussed behind the scenes at the UN General Assembly. Using military might against North Korea could be...

Read more

2017-09-18 labour law

'Get ready for a busy week' as French unions call for more strikes

FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 18.09.17: "Get ready for a busy week" - that’s the message from an article in Le Parisien. It details the different striking schedules of French labour...

Read more

2017-09-15 Tunisia

Could Dennis Rodman end up playing a key role in preventing armageddon?

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 15.09.17: North Korea fires a ballistic missile across Japan, creating more tension in the region. Could NBA legend Dennis Rodman "straighten things...

Read more