Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

A day in the life of an Indian entrepreneur

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US department store Sears faces possible closure

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Thomas Friedman on technology, Trump and the media

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Terror in Westminster'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Internet users say 'we are not afraid' after Westminster attack

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan faces water crisis

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Midwife', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Girl Asleep'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

The hidden collection: Iran exhibits contemporary art masterpieces

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

2017-03-23 London

'Terror in Westminster'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 23.03.17: Join us as we take a look at reactions in the press and on social media to yesterday's terrorist attack on Westminster in London. Amid the...

Read more

2017-03-22 Brussels attacks

Brussels attacks, one year on: 'What if their hate has contaminated us?'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 22.03.17: Belgium marks the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 32 people. For a week now, Belgian media and politicians have been...

Read more

2017-03-22 François Fillon

French interior minister quits over holiday jobs for daughters

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 22.03.17: Another day, another scandal. Yesterday, French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux resigned after it emerged he had hired his two daughters as...

Read more

2017-03-21 Northern Ireland

Martin McGuiness, 'terrorist turned statesman', dies at 66

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.03.17: Papers react to the death of Martin McGuinness, the Irish rebel who went on to be Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade. He...

Read more

2017-03-21 French politics

Who won last night's first presidential debate?

Join us as we look at reactions in the press to last night's presidential debate. Most papers agree this first debate did what it was supposed to do: It focused on real policy...

Read more