Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

France

Loire Valley senator probed in Chinese weddings scam

© FRANCE 24

Text by Thomas HUBERT

Latest update : 2013-11-13

Socialist lawmaker and mayor of Tours Jean Germain is facing charges of complicity with a wedding planner accused of embezzling public funds while bringing Chinese couples on French nuptial trips.

Judges investigating suspected corruption in a tourism venture bringing Chinese couples to France’s Loire Valley for their wedding placed a local senator under formal investigation on Wednesday.

Lawyer Dominique Tricaud said the judges had obtained enough evidence “to suspect Jean Germain of having been informed of acts of embezzlement” and “charged him with passive complicity”.

A statement issued by the senator’s lawyers stressed that he was not accused of embezzlement himself and was willing to cooperate with the judges.

Jean Germain is also the mayor of Tours and a member of President François Hollande’s parliamentary majority.

The latest twist in the two-year investigation brings a political connection to the case known locally as the “Chinese weddings affair”, just five months before France’s municipal elections.

In 2011, the Canard enchaîné newspaper revealed that Taiwan-born Lise Han had been employed for several years by Tours city council to strengthen ties with China.

While on the payroll of the mayor’s office, she is accused of having awarded lucrative tourism promotion contracts to Lotus Bleu, a company she had owned before transferring it to her husband.

Lotus Bleu organised honeymoon trips during which Chinese newlyweds visited Loire Valley castles and took part in symbolic wedding ceremonies with Jean Germain.

Lise Han was charged with several counts of fraud last January and is awaiting trial.

Date created : 2013-11-02

COMMENT(S)