Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strong-Arm Tactics?

Is it pre-presidential shenanigans or something more sinister? Suddenly charges are flying right and left. Une juge d'instruction in the Bettencourt case told the authors of the oddly titled book Sarkozy m'a tuer [sic] that one of the witnesses in the case did indeed state that Sarkozy had left the Bettencourt house with an envelope full of cash, but only after her official interrogation had ended--off the official record, in other words. Why didn't she recall the witness to put this charge, allegedly made to her clerk, on the record? Because it would have done no good, the judge says, because the witness had received death threats and was terrified of testifying. Alas for lovers of the truth, the witness now says that the story about Sarkozy is untrue but that she did in fact receive death threats, so that one does have to wonder how eager she is to reveal what she knows.

All rather murky, and as I noted in my Le Monde piece, leaks from juges d'instruction in violation of the secrecy of the investigation have become a way of life in France. Les petits juges may believe that these unauthorized methods are necessary in affairs of state, but they leave a bad taste nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Le Monde now has evidence that its reporters' phones were tapped by state agents in the Bettencourt case.

And to top it all off, Mediapart has alleged that its editor and one of its reporters received death threats in the Takkiedine affair. The threats ostensibly came from the cell phone of one Pierre Sellier, alleged former DGSE agent and now head of a PR firm called Salamandre. Here is a sample:

Plenel le moustachu et Arfi le barbu, si je vous prends désormais à encore essayer d'enculer le juge Trevidic (il s'agit du magistrat chargé de l'enquête sur l'attentat de Karachi-NDLR), je vais vraiment me facher, Cela est une MENACE DE VERITE pour protéger le juge, Dénoncez moi au juge, SVP 

It does strike me as rather odd that an alleged former secret agent would be so inept as to send such a crude threat from his own phone, but who knows? Of course, we know from the Murdoch affair in England how easy it is to spoof someone's caller ID, so the threats could have come from anyone. Perhaps we will some day find out from whom, but more likely, I suspect, we won't. In the meantime, everyone will be accusing everyone else of coups tordus, and thus we will know that campaign season has arrived in earnest.


Anonymous said...

Art, surely you have heard of the "Omar m'a tuer" case? It was some 15 years ago, a wealthy widow was found assassinated in her Riviera villa, and those words were written (in blood, I seem to remember). Her part-time gardener, Omar, was accused and jailed in consequence, but the odd fact was that the killed woman was known for being a great scrabble player and a stickler for correct French.


Anonymous said...

For a deconstruction of "Sarko m'a tuer":

For @rrêts sur images subscribers further info about the book's contents:

Anonymous said...

Fulgurants progrès de la dissidence au Sarkozistan

Anonymous said...