Arab Today, arab today french journalists charged with bid to blackmail
Last Updated : GMT 07:30:49
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

To prevent a book about Morocco king

French journalists charged with bid to blackmail

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today French journalists charged with bid to blackmail

Moroccan man looks at the cover of a daily newspaper
Paris - Arab Today

Two French investigative journalists were charged with blackmail for demanding two million euros ($2.2 million) from the king of Morocco not to bring out a book purportedly containing damaging revelations about the monarch, legal sources said Saturday.

Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet were working on a book about King Mohammed VI, which is due for release early next year.

They were arrested in Paris on Thursday after a meeting with a Moroccan official at which they allegedly accepted payments of 40,000 euros ($45,000) each, a source close to the French investigation told AFP.

The Moroccan government claims that was the payment was the first instalment of a total of two million euros demanded by the authors in exchange for not bringing out their book.

The French judicial source said the journalists had been charged with blackmail and extortion.

They were released on bail, but are restricted from talking to each other or parties involved in the case.

Eric Dupond-Moretti, a lawyer for the Moroccan government, told France's RTL radio that 68-year-old Laurent contacted the royal palace in July, saying he was writing a book about Mohammed VI.

The journalist allegedly demanded three million euros initially, but reduced the figure after further negotiations.

However, by then the monarch had filed a case with Paris prosecutors and later meetings with the journalists were bugged.

"Meetings were filmed and recorded between the journalists and the king's representatives... under the supervision of the police," said Dupond-Moretti on Thursday.

"They were caught red-handed."

He also said a contract had been signed by the journalists, acknowledging receipt of the 80,000-euro down-payment and promising to "not write anything about the king of Morocco".

Through his lawyer William Bourdon, Laurent on Saturday denied any wrongdoing.

According to the lawyer, Laurent said he had been seeking a "financial deal" with Morocco about the book, but not through blackmail. He denounced what he called a "trap" and a "manipulation" by Rabat, saying he would demand that the case be dismissed.

Graciet's lawyer, Eric Moutet, also confirmed the existence of a "financial deal" but that his client had been caught in a "trap".

"The Moroccan kingdom has a clear axe to grind with Catherine Graciet," said Moutet, adding that the context of the accusations was "very troubling".

The pair are known in Morocco, having published a highly critical book on Mohammed VI in 2012 entitled "The predator king". When Spain's El Pais newspaper printed excerpts from the book, the edition was banned in Morocco.

Their publisher, Editions du Seuil, confirmed that the two writers were working on another book slated for publication "in January/February".

The affair threatens to once again test testy relations between France and its former colony, which have been particularly strained since France launched an investigation into claims of torture by the head of Morocco's counter-terrorism unit.
Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today french journalists charged with bid to blackmail Arab Today, arab today french journalists charged with bid to blackmail

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today french journalists charged with bid to blackmail Arab Today, arab today french journalists charged with bid to blackmail

 



Arab Today, arab today Designer Rania Adel reveals her new collection

GMT 17:59 2017 Monday ,12 June

Designer Rania Adel reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Mai Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan
View News in Arabic - Media: وسائل الإعلام أخبار
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 09:49 2017 Tuesday ,02 May

Girl barred from Malaysia chess competition

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 16:25 2017 Sunday ,04 June

“Suhoor” is basic meal for fasting

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 23:13 2017 Sunday ,18 June

New ransomware virus attacking mobiles in Oman
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday