Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot's profits double as Opel takeover eyed

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bayrou decides to march with Macron

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 2)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Amnesty chief urges France to 'stay true to its values'

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Certain Women', 'Rock’n Roll' and 'A Wedding'

Read more

FOCUS

#BringBackOurInternet: English-speaking Cameroon hit by digital blackout

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Preaching coexistence: Avant-garde mosque opens in Lebanon's Druze heartland

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Prison guards turn guns on prisoners in Chile, and thousands of migrants stuck in smoky warehouses in Serbia

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

2017-02-22 Donald Trump

93 candles for Robert Mugabe

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 22.02.17: In the US, President Donald Trump directs his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, drawing mixed...

Read more

2017-02-22 jihad

French Senate report: Govt policy to 'de-radicalize' jihadists is not working

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 22.02.17: A French Senate report scheduled to come out today assesses the government's efforts to help individuals brainwashed by Islamists. According to...

Read more

2017-02-21 North Korea

'The Evolution of the Presidential Portrait'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.02.17: Papers focus on Iraq's campaign to take back the western section of its second-largest city, Mosul, from the so-called Islamic State group....

Read more

2017-02-21 Champions League

A sweeter pill to swallow: Fillon unveils revamped healthcare policies

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 21.02.17: Hoping the so-called "Penelopegate" scandal is behind him, conservative presidential candidate François Fillon lays out his new healthcare...

Read more

2017-02-20 Donald Trump

No mood to party: Some Brazilian cities are cancelling carnival

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Monday, February 20: Donald Trump clarifies his Sweden "terror" comments that sent the nation into mass confusion. Meanwhile, the battle for Mosul...

Read more