Platini arrested in Sarkozy-Qatar football corruption scandal

This 29 March 2018 video says about itself:

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been ordered to stand trial for corruption and abuse of power.

He has faced multiple corruption investigations since leaving office six years ago and just last week, he was handed preliminary charges for taking millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from ex-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

A court on Thursday sent Sarkozy to trial for a separate case, in which he is accused of colluding with a judge, while serving as president, to find out how far magistrates had got into another fraud investigation against him. Sarkozy and his lawyer allegedly promised the judge a lucrative position in Monaco in return for the information. The judge and the lawyer have also been ordered to stand trial.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Platini arrested in investigation of 2022 World Cup football allocation

The French football legend Michel Platini, former president of the European football association UEFA, has been arrested in connection with an investigation into corruption around the allocation of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

A spokesperson for the French National Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the news to the NOS. The public prosecutor does not want to provide additional comments.

Interrogation in suburb of Paris

The 63-year-old Platini is currently being questioned at the office of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Justice Department in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris.

“Not only he, by the way, but also a former top employee of former President Nicolas Sarkozy“, says correspondent Frank Renout.

“It is about the 2010 decision to allocate the World Cup to Qatar. Fraud is said to have been committed in that”, Renout continues.

“The authorities in France, the USA and Switzerland have been investigating this for years. The French specifically want to know what role Paris has played in it.”

Vote as a commodity?

Platini was previously accused of having used his vote as a commodity. France Football published about a lunch at the Elysée [presidential palace], about two weeks before the assignment. According to the magazine, this included at least Crown Prince Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar (the current Emir), French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Platini.

Platini did not later deny to the NOS that the meeting had taken place, but he did deny that it had been arranged in advance. …

Qatari investment

After the World Cup was allocated, the Qatari government invested hundreds of millions in France. Paris Saint-Germain, Sarkozy‘s favorite club, was acquired for 76 million euros.

Platini had promised his vote for the 2022 World Cup to the North American Major League Soccer. In the end, however, he opted for Qatar, with which he played an important role in the assignment. …

Doubtful payment from Blatter

Platini was president of UEFA from 2007 to 2015 and vice-president of FIFA at the time of the World Cup allocation to Qatar. In 2015, he was suspended for eight years due to a payment of 1.8 million euros by FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter. That penalty was later reduced to four years.

‘Center right’ Belgian politician’s Kazakhstan financial scandal

This French TV video says about itself:

IN THE PAPERS: FRENCH PRESS – Weds. 08.10.2014: Nicolas Sarkozy is back in the press for more legal woes that could thwart his political comeback. Le Monde reveals a new scandal dubbed “Kazakhgate” which involves allegations of illegal kickbacks from the sale of 45 helicopters to Kazakhstan in 2010, during Sarkozy’s time as president.

The Kazakhgate scandal is about corruption in buying oil from, and selling French Eurocopter EC145 military helicopters to, the dictatorship in Kazakhstan.

Nicolas Sarkozy is usually referred to in the corporate media as a ‘center right’ politician (though he has tendencies towards the far right).

The Kazakhgate scandal involves not only French ‘center right’ politicians. Also Belgian ones (and United States businessmen).

On the same day when a Belgian ‘center left’ politician is in a far-right scandal, ‘center right’ Armand De Decker is once again in the news because of the Kazakhgate affair.

Armand De Decker is a very prominent member of the French speaking pro-Big Business MR. That sister party of the British Liberal Democrats is the party of Belgian Prime Minister Michel.

Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard today:

Armand De Decker suspected of corruption in Kazakhgate scandal.

Minister of State and former Senate chairman Armand De Decker (MR) has been declared to be a suspect by the court in Mons for ‘unauthorized influence’ in the Kazakhgate case. Legal sources confirm that to De Standaard.

An investigating magistrate in Mons thinks there is enough evidence that Senator Armand De Decker (MR) did unlawful political lobbying in 2011 and 2012 to have the law on the extended amicable settlement approved in a way favourable to [London-based] billionaire Patokh Chodiev and two of his business partners. De Decker received 740,000 euros from Chodiev and his cronies for his services. The former senator himself maintains until today that he only worked as a lawyer for Chodiev in the Kazakhgate case and that the 740,000 euros were his lawyer’s fees. But he did not succeed in convincing the investigators of that.

French ex-President Sarkozy, another scandal

This 20 March 2018 video from France says about itself:

Sarkozy questioned over alleged Libyan funding of 2007 campaign: “Suitcases of money taken to Paris”

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been called in for questioning by investigators looking into suspected Libyan financing of his 2007 election campaign, officials in the French judiciary have said.

In 2011, Sarkozy waged a regime change war against Libya; which led to the murder of Gaddafi (said to be instigated by Sarkozy), and much more bloodshed in Libya and other countries which still continues now. Sarkozy waged that regime change war for French Big Oil profits. Maybe also to destroy evidence of illegal Gaddafi financing of his election campaign.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Sarkozy is getting into more and more trouble

French former president Nicolas Sarkozy has to come to court on suspicion of corruption and abuse of power. This case is on top of the suspicion of financing his election campaign illegally in 2007.

This new case is about wiretapped phone calls in 2014. In these talks, Sarkozy is said to have tried to influence a judge investigating the funding of his campaign. Sarkozy offered Judge Gilbert Azibert an important position in Monaco, in return for information on the judicial inquiry.

The judge in this case and Sarkozy‘s lawyer will be prosecuted as well. …

A week ago, after a few days of being interrogated, Sarkozy was officially accused of illegally financing his election campaign in 2007. He is said have received at that time millions from then Libyan dictator Gaddafi.

French ex-president Sarkozy arrested

This 18 March 2011 video says about itself:

END WAR: A Month Ago Sarkozy Was A Pussy Cat Begging Libya To Buy Jets, But Now Calls For No-Fly-Zone

a ‘no-fly zone’ which became a pretext for a bloody regime change war

Sarkozy inks major arms deal with Libya

August 5, 2007

LONDON — Libya has signed an agreement to purchase offensive weapons from France.

From Metro daily in Britain today:

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in police custody over campaign financing

Richard Hartley-Parkinson

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in police custody over allegations relating to campaign financing.

He is being questioned by police in relation to financing from Libya

by the then Gaddafi government. In 2011, Sarkozy waged a regime change war against Libya; which led to the murder of Gaddafi (said to be instigated by Sarkozy), and much more bloodshed in Libya and other countries which still continues now. Sarkozy waged that regime change war for French Big Oil profits. Maybe also to destroy evidence of illegal Gaddafi financing of his election campaign.

during the 2007 presidential campaign which he won, according to Le Monde.

He is being held as part of an ongoing investigation over campaign financing, according to a court source.

He was summoned to a police station in Nanterre where he is being questioned over the allegations.

The inquiry was opened in April 2013 but it is the first time Sarkozy has been questioned in the inquiry.

It comes several weeks after a former associate, Alexandre Djouhri, was arrested in London and later released on bail.

He can be held by police for up to 48 hours before facing magistrates.

This is a breaking news story and is being updated with more information as we get it.

French ex-President Sarkozy accused of fraud

Sarkozy's financial scandal, cartoon by rodrigo

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

France: Sarkozy to stand trial for campaign ‘cover-up’

Wednesday 8th February 2017

FORMER French president Nicolas Sarkozy was ordered to stand trial yesterday over alleged campaign finance fraud during his failed 2012 re-election bid.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Mr Sarkozy and 13 other “protagonists” will go to court on the order of a magistrate to answer allegations that his presidential campaign spent well above the legal ceiling of €22.5 million (£19 million) and tried to cover it up fraudulently.

The claims centre on whether the former Republicans party president was aware of alleged false billing and fraud linked to PR company Bygmalion, where some executives have acknowledged false accounting.

Mr Sarkozy denies any wrongdoing and his camp says it will appeal the decision.

The presidential bid of Mr Sarkozy’s former deputy Francois Fillon has been thrown into doubt by revelations that he employed his wife and children as parliamentary assistants.

French Sarkozy rejected by his own party

Sarkozy cartoon

This cartoon by Jeffrey Hill shows French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, whipping up hysteria on terrorism in order to become president again. However, today it has turned out that he failed.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Sarkozy already knockout in first round, he will not be president again

Today, 21:39

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in the first round of elections for the candidacy for the presidency of his party. The counting of votes is still under way, but Sarkozy has trailed the votes of the two former Prime Ministers Fillon and Juppé all night.

With 80 percent of votes counted Fillon is ahead. He has received 44 percent of the vote and Juppé stands at 28 percent. Sarkozy remains at 21 percent. The two candidates with the most votes will go through to the next round, which will be held next Sunday.

Sarkozy, for his part, had praised Trump’s election as validation of his own claims to speak for the “silent majority” and as a victory for a democracy and the principle of “listening to the people.” Trump is unpopular in France, and Sarkozy’s open support for Trump doubtless played a role in his elimination in the first round. Sarkozy explicitly centered his campaign around stigmatizing Muslims: here.

Ban Islam, French Sarkozy party politician says

This video says about itself:

French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack

9 January 2015

Muslims across France are fearing a backlash after Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several mosques have been attacked. A bomb exploded at a kebab shop in Paris. We speak to Muhammad El Khaoua, a graduate student in international relations at the Paris Institute for Political Science. He grew up in the outskirts of Paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including Salaam, a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. Also joining us is Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

French mayor suspended after calling for Islam to be banned

Robert Chardon tweeted the extreme view as part of a discussion with former president Nicolas Sarkozy

Ben Tufft

Sunday 17 May 2015

A French mayor has been suspended from his party after calling for the country to ban Islam.

Robert Chardon, the UMP

Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party

mayor of Venelles in southern France, tweeted: “The Muslim religion must be banned in France” and added that anyone practising the religion must be “immediately escorted to the border”.

He also claimed Islam will be banned in France by 2027.

The tweet was part of a discussion former president Nicolas Sarkozy began with the public, using the hashtag #NSDirect. …

UMP Vice-president Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet announced the party was suspending Mr Chardon pending a procedure to remove him from the UMP. …

Initially, it was thought the tweet had been sent after Mr Chardon’s account had been hacked, but the mayor confirmed he sent the extreme message.

Recently the mayor has been treated for cancer of the mouth and came to his radical proposals during this period.

“During my treatment, I’ve been thinking and I came to this conclusion. Islam should be banned in France, but also a Marshall Plan should be established to allow those who want to practice the Muslim religion to do so in their home country,” he told Le Monde.

Mr Chardon became mayor of the small town of Venelles in 2012 after the death of his predecessor.

USA: Former 3rd District Congressional Candidate Admits Plotting Armed Militia Attack, Firebombing Of Muslim Community In New York. Robert Doggart’s Plans Included Burning Down A School, A Mosque And A Cafeteria, According To Federal Court Documents: here.

French ex-President Sarkozy’s homophobia

This French video is called Gay Pride de Paris 2013.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Nicolas Sarkozy calls for repeal of France’s same-sex marriage law

Former president says he favours some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but not the same as for heterosexuals

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told supporters that the country’s same-sex marriage law should be scrapped.

Sarkozy, who is campaigning to lead the opposition centre-right UMP party and is expected to run again for president in 2017, was speaking at a debate organised by the conservative Common Sense (Sens Commun) group on Saturday.

Homophobes calling themselves ‘Common Sense’ … reminding one of George Orwell’s novel 1984, where war is peace and ignorance is strength.

Referring to the “mariage pour tous” or “marriage for all” legislation passed by France’s Socialist government last year, he said it needed “rewriting from top to bottom”.

His comments, two weeks before the UMP’s hotly contested leadership election, prompted catcalls from the 3,000-strong audience and cries of “Repeal! Repeal!”. Sarkozy, appearing rattled, responded: “If you’d rather one says repeal the law and make another one … in French, that’s saying the same thing. It comes to the same result. But hey, if that makes you happy, then frankly, it doesn’t cost much.”

Sarkozy explained he was in favour of some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but something different from that for heterosexuals. He said he opposed surrogate parenthood for same-sex couples.

The same-sex marriage legislation is known officially as the Taubira law, named after the justice minister Christiane Taubira who oversaw its introduction.

“It’s no use being against surrogacy if you don’t repeal the Taubira law,” Sarkozy said to cheers and applause.

The former president, who has been married three times, has previously criticised the legislation, saying it was “humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family”, but it is the first time he has called for its repeal.

An Ifop poll published on Saturday found that 68% of respondents supported same-sex unions and 53% supported adoption by same-sex couples, which is illegal in France.

Sarkozy’s comment and apparent policy-making on the hoof brought angry reactions from the governing Socialist party, which accused him of “appealing to the most reactionary instincts of his core supporters”. A spokesperson said Sarkozy wanted to create “a new form of segregation” with his two-tier marriage proposal.

Sarkozy calls for UMP unity after narrow victory in leadership contest. French opposition party supporters in record turnout but under 65% give ex-president mandate for 2017 election: here.

FRENCH former president Nicolas Sarkozy didn’t exactly get a warm embrace from his party on his return to public life on Saturday.

Mr Sarkozy won a race for leader of France’s main conservative party – but with a margin of victory smaller than predicted: here.

February 201: new Sarkozy scandal.

Christine Lagarde, IMF boss, in Sarkozy financial scandal

This 2013 video says about itelf:

Two French heads of the IMF in a row in legal scandals of different kinds begins to reflect embarrassingly on their country of origin. Christine Lagarde, when she was shortlisted for the job after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned in disgrace, did mention there was a risk of her past career resurfacing, but she got the post anyway.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Christine Lagarde, I.M.F. Chief, Under Investigation in France


AUG. 27, 2014

PARIS — Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said on Wednesday that French prosecutors had placed her under formal investigation over a murky business affair that dates to her time as finance minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy. …

She made the announcement a day after she was questioned for a fourth time in the investigation of her role in 2008 during an arbitration proceeding between the government and Bernard Tapie, a onetime cabinet minister and the former owner of the Adidas sportswear empire. Prosecutors had assigned Ms. Lagarde the status of “assisted witness” in the case. Placing her under formal investigation signals that prosecutors believe they have evidence of wrongdoing, but the charge of negligence hardly suggests high crimes.

Negligence by a government official that makes possible the misappropriation or embezzlement of public funds is punishable with a maximum fine of 15,000 euros, or $19,800, and up to one year in prison. …

In the French legal system, a formal investigation suggests prosecutors believe they have enough of a case that they may ultimately bring criminal charges and trial. …

Stéphane Richard, Ms. Lagarde’s former chief of staff and currently the chief executive of Orange, the French telecommunications giant, has already been placed under formal investigation on “suspicion of organized fraud.”

From France 24 TV:

French baffled by IMF chief’s bizarre letter to Sarkozy


A leaked letter in which IMF chief Christine Lagarde pledges her allegiance to former president Nicolas Sarkozy has caused bewilderment in France, raising further suspicions over fraud at the highest levels of government.

“Use me”, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde purportedly urged former president Nicolas Sarkozy, in a letter court investigators seized at her Paris home in March and which was leaked to the French press.

The undated and handwritten letter, a wholehearted pledge of allegiance to Sarkozy, has caused bemusement in France because of its strange choice of words, but has also rekindled concerns about Lagarde’s role in a controversial settlement that awarded millions of euros from the state to controversial French businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

The IMF chief was questioned for several hours on May 23 by prosecutors looking into whether the settlement was the result of fraud. More specifically, investigators are probing whether Tapie received the payout thanks to his cozy relationship with the Sarkozy administration – which included Lagarde as finance minister.

However, the leaked letter –  in which she tells Sarkozy “Use me for as long as it suits you and suits your plans and casting call” – has thrust her back into the spotlight, calling her impartiality into question and showering her with ridicule for the unusual style and vocabulary used.

A translation of the full text originally published on the website of daily Le Monde follows below.

Dear Nicolas, very briefly and respectfully,

1) I am by your side to serve you and serve your plans for France.

2) I tried my best and might have failed occasionally. I implore your forgiveness.

3) I have no personal political ambitions and I have no desire to become a servile status seeker, like many of the people around you whose loyalty is recent and short-lived.

4) Use me for as long as it suits you and suits your plans and casting call.

5) If you decide to use me, I need you as a guide and a supporter: without a guide, I may be ineffective and without your support I may lack credibility.

With my great admiration, Christine L.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave an hour-long primetime interview on France2 Sunday evening, after announcing Friday in a Facebook post that he is officially returning to political life after his defeat in the 2012 presidential elections: here.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is reportedly facing trial in France over a €400 million (£290 million) payout to businessman Bernard Tapie, according to French media: here.

French ex-president Sarkozy suspected of corruption

This 21 July 2014 video is called BREAKING NEWS – French ex President Sarkozy held over influence claims.

From Agence France-Presse in Paris:

Nicolas Sarkozy detained for questioning for alleged corruption

Unprecedented move against a former French president as investigators also question his lawyer and two magistrates

Tuesday 1 July 2014 08.26 BST

Nicolas Sarkozy was detained for questioning on Tuesday as part of a widening corruption inquiry in an unprecedented move against a former French president.

Anti-corruption investigators can hold Sarkozy for questioning for up to 24 hours, with a possible extension of another day.

Sarkozy had turned himself in for questioning a day after investigators detained his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and two magistrates.

The investigators are seeking to establish if the former president, with the help of Herzog, tried to pervert the course of justice.

They suspect Sarkozy, 59, sought to obtain inside information from one of the magistrates about the progress of another inquiry and that he was tipped off that his mobile phone had been tapped by judges looking into the alleged financing of his 2007 election campaign by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The case could prove devastating for Sarkozy‘s hopes of a political comeback in time for the 2017 presidential campaign.

See also here. And here.