Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Besieged UN peacekeepers battle Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Lesotho army seizes police HQ, jams radio stations

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

France

French trial begins for vice ring linked to Gaddafi’s son

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-10-22

The trial of seven people suspected of being involved in a high-end prostitution ring opened in the French city of Marseille on Monday. One of those on trial is accused of organising 20 escorts to attend a birthday bash for Mutassim Gaddafi.

Two men and a woman appeared in a French court Monday in a case over a Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring that had ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Seven men and a woman went on trial in the southern port city of Marseille, though the five chief figures are on the run and are being tried in absentia.
             
They include Elie Nahas, a Lebanese who claimed to run a modelling agency employing young women recruited in South America, France and eastern Europe.
             
The three who turned up in court were: an alleged escort girl from Cannes, Sabrina Samari, who has admitted to procuring women; a Venezuelan named Felix Farias who worked for a branch of Nahas's agency; and a Lebanese driver, Antoine El Khoury.
             
Nahas is accused of organising a birthday bash for one of Gaddafi's sons Mutassim in 2004 costing $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) with several stars and about 20 models in attendance.
             
Mutassim Gaddafi was killed with his father on October 20 last year. Investigators never questioned the son.
             
Farias also caused a scandal in 2007 when he turned up at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with eight young women, one of whom was a minor, to attend the Cannes Film Festival. They were refused entry.
             
They were due to stay on a 136-metre-long luxury yacht, La Savarona, which had been rented for 350,000 euros a week.
             
Wiretapped telephone conversations from the time showed the involvement of four Lebanese nationals, a Venezuelan and two escort girls from Cannes in an alleged prostitution ring, whose clients were rich men from the Middle East.
             
"Those really responsible are absent or have fled," said Franck De Vita, the lawyer for Samari.
             
According to Patrick Rizzo, lawyer for an anti-procuring charity that is a civil party to the trial, it was "the political context" in 2007 and 2008 that hampered the legal investigation.
             
"Colonel Gaddafi was received at the Elysee (French presidential palace) at the time, he was France's good friend," Rizzo said.
             
"All this context did not favour international investigations."
             
The inquiry established that young women of various nationalities including models, beauty queens and escort girls, were recruited, especially during the Cannes film festival for clients from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ready to pay thousands of dollars for their services.
 
(AFP)
             

Date created : 2012-10-22

  • FRANCE

    French minister wants prostitution to 'disappear'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Banning prostitution in France will 'endanger lives'

    Read more

  • France

    Strauss-Kahn wants to testify in prostitution probe

    Read more

COMMENT(S)