Mainly Mimi Marchand, the figure of the press, was charged on Saturday with “witness manipulation” in the case of the alleged Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential election campaign.
The head of the paparazzi agency BestImage, Mimi Marchand, was charged on Saturday with “witness manipulation” in the case of the alleged Libyan funding of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential election campaign in 2007, her lawyer told AFP on Saturday. Michèle Marchand, nicknamed “Mimi”, was also charged with “criminal organization committing organized gang fraud” and was placed under judicial control. “She firmly denies the alleged facts,” said Me Caroline Toby.
This person in the press, who is close to the Macron couple, was taken into custody on Thursday as part of a judicial investigation that opened after an interview by Ziad Takieddine last November with a journalist for the weekly Paris Match, who surrendered to a photographer in Lebanon had been made by BestImage. In this November 2020 interview, Ziad Takieddine withdrew his statements against Nicolas Sarkozy after accusing him of receiving money from Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi for his presidential campaign. “The truth is out,” the former head of state triumphed straight away.
Questioned two months later, on January 14th in Beirut by examining magistrates Aude Buresi and Marc Sommerer, who were responsible for the Libyan case, the mediator known for his versatility declared that he had not confirmed “the words” of the interview and claimed that that they were “distorted” by Paris Match, which “belongs to a friend of Sarkozy’s”.
Mimi Marchand “acted as the journalist who had the exclusivity of this interview with Mr. Takieddine,” said Toby on Saturday. “She only organized the photos and the interview as part of her job,” she said.
Five other people were also taken into police custody as part of the investigation on Thursday. Paris Match journalist François de Labarre was released without charge that evening. Among the four others who will be tried on Saturday at the end of the morning on charges are the recruiter Arnaud de la Villesbrunne, former director of the Publicis agency, the businessman Pierre Reynaud and Noël Dubus, a man already convicted of fraud.
According to Le Parisien, Noël Dubus, who made two trips to Beirut before retiring to meet Ziad Takieddine, would have benefited from suspicious payments through Arnaud de la Villesbrunne, who was one of Mr Sarkozy’s utilities. According to the daily Liberation, the businessman Pierre Reynaud had advanced Mr Dubus money to be given to Ziad Takieddine.