Tensions mount over Sarkozy-Bettencourt case as judge Jean-Michel Gentil receives bullet and death threat in post
Thursday 28 March 2013
A death threat and blank bullets have been sent to the judge who last week started criminal investigations against ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Two French journalists have received similar letters, containing large calibre, blank, military ammunition. All three letters were signed by hard-right group, the “Interaction des forces de l’ordre” or “IFO”.
Although possibly the work of an isolated crank the threats are being taken seriously by French authorities. The country’s anti-terrorist prosecution team has been ordered to investigate.
The letters – also sent to two other judges working on the Sarkozy case – have deepened an already dark and tense political mood in France.
A magistrates’ union today accused Mr Sarkozy’s lawyer and his political allies of being indirectly responsible for the threats.
Last Thursday, the former President was placed under investigation by Judge Jean-Michel Gentil for allegedly taking advantage of the fragile mental state of France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, the chief shareholder of the cosmetics giant L’Oréal. Mr Sarkozy’s camp have since kept up an almost daily counter-attack, accusing Judge Gentil of “dishonouring France” and political “bias”.
The magistrates’ union said that the “violence” of these verbal attacks by Mr Sarkozy’s “clan” had generated an “intolerable chain-reaction of hatred” against the justice system.
In an apparent attempt to calm the mood, Mr Sarkozy announced tonight that he was suspending his appeal against the judge’s decision.
The threatening letter revealed today accuses Judge Gentil of being part of a “red sect of enraged, revolutionary, totalitarian judges” and a successor to the revolutionary “terror” of the 1790s.
Similar threats were sent to two TV and radio journalists, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach and Michael Darmon, who are co-hosts of a Sunday political chat-show. The letters were signed “Interaction des forces de l’ordre Paris-Melun-Rouen-Caen-Cherbourg-Rennes (IFO)”.
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...