The boss of the paparazzi agency BestImage, Mimi Marchand, suspected of “witness tampering” in the case of the alleged Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007, was referred on Saturday after two days in police custody, we learned from sources close to the case.
Michèle Marchand, nicknamed “Mimi” in the middle of the press people, must be presented to an examining magistrate for an indictment in an investigation for “witness bribery” and “criminal association”, according to these sources, confirming information from the daily Le Parisien.
The judicial information was opened after an interview granted last November by Ziad Takieddine to a journalist from the weekly Paris Match, who had visited Lebanon with a photographer from BestImage.
Four other people also placed in police custody were also referred, according to one of the sources familiar with the matter. Three of these people are the advertiser Arnaud de la Villesbrunne, former director of the Publicis agency, the businessman Pierre Reynaud and Noël Dubus, a man convicted of fraud.
Paris Match journalist François de Labarre was also taken into police custody on Thursday but was released in the evening, without prosecution at this stage.
In this interview given in November 2020, Ziad Takieddine withdrew his statements against Nicolas Sarkozy, after initially accusing him of having received money for his presidential campaign from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“The truth is out,” the former head of state immediately triumphed.
Two months later, when questioned in Beirut on January 14 by investigating judges Aude Buresi and Marc Sommerer in charge of the Libyan case, the intermediary, known for his versatility, said he did not confirm “the words” of the interview, claiming they had been “distorted” by Paris Match, which “belongs to a friend of Sarkozy’s.”
According to Le Parisien, Noël Dubus, who went twice to Beirut to meet Mr. Takeddine there before his retraction, would have benefited from suspicious payments, via Mr. Villesbrunne, who was one of the providers of Mr. Sarkozy.
According to the daily Liberation, the businessman Pierre Reynaud would have advanced to Mr. Dubus funds to be given to Mr. Takieddine.
© 2021 AFP