Is the fight against corruption in France faltering?


On the surface they are four criminal investigations that have nothing to do with one another. In each one the judges and lawyers of the French justice system have sifted through the evidence and applied the law as they see fit, and there is no question here of seeking to re-try those cases in their place. Yet the judicial handling of the affairs involving former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s advisor turned banker François Pérol, former centrist minister André Santini, film director and socialist government minister Yamina Benguigui, and former minister and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, says a great deal about the French justice system and its foibles. In particular it illustrates the fact that some judges have not grasped the full extent of the real cost of corruption, whether in financial, social or political terms.

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