Placed in custody on Thursday, the boss of the Bestimage paparazzi agency, Michèle Marchand, was indicted on Saturday, June 5, her lawyer announced to Agence France-Presse (AFP). She is notably accused of “witness tampering” in the case of the alleged Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007.
Michèle Marchand, nicknamed “Mimi”, was also indicted for “criminal association with a view to committing an organized gang scam” and placed under judicial supervision. “She firmly disputes the alleged facts”, underlined his lawyer, Caroline Toby.
The magistrates suspect this businesswoman, figure of the press people, close to the couples Macron and Sarkozy, of having played a troubled role in the organization of the interview given by Ziad Takieddine to the weekly Paris Match, published in November 2020 and accompanied by photos taken by a photographer working for his agency.
In this interview, Ziad Takieddine withdrew his statements against Nicolas Sarkozy, after claiming that the latter had received money for his presidential campaign from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. “The truth is out”, had immediately triumphed the former head of state.
Two months later, questioned in Beirut on 14 January by investigating judges Aude Buresi and Marc Sommerer, in charge of the Libyan case, Mr Takieddine, known for his versatility, said he did not confirm “Not the words” of the interview, claiming that they had been distorted by Paris Match, who “Belongs to a friend of Sarkozy”.
While in police custody, Mimi Marchand admitted that she was in Beirut at the time of the interview with Ziad Takieddine. It “Acted as a journalist who had the exclusivity of this interview with Mr. Takieddine”his lawyer said on Saturday. “She only organized the photos and the interview, within the scope of her job”, explained Mme Toby.
Five other people were also taken into police custody Thursday in this investigation. The journalist of Paris Match François de Labarre had been released in the evening, without prosecution at this stage. Among the four others, still on Saturday at the end of the morning being presented to justice for an indictment, are the publicist 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 The Parisian, Noël Dubus, who went twice to Beirut to meet Mr. Takeddine there before his retraction, would have benefited from suspicious payments, via Arnaud de La Villesbrunne, who was one of the providers of the presidential campaign of Mr. Sarkozy. According to the daily Release, the businessman Pierre Reynaud would have advanced to Mr. Dubus funds to be given to Mr. Takieddine.