Subdued Tapie begins last-ditch appeal
One of the country’s most respected commentators on Russia, the EU and the US, Mary Dejevsky has worked as a foreign correspondent all over the world, including Washington, Paris and Moscow. She is now the chief editorial writer and a columnist at The Independent and regularly appears on radio and television. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham.
Wednesday 25 October 1995
Bernard Tapie, the former football club chairman and politician whose name was a byword for the fast-talking, fast-living France of the Eighties, embarked yesterday on a last-ditch attempt to save himself from the prison sentence that has longed seemed his destiny.
Thinner than before and uncharacteristically restrained, he arrived early at the courthouse in Douai to start his appeal against conviction for fixing a football match.
In May, Tapie was found guilty of organising payments to two players from the Valenciennes football club to ensure victory for his own team, Olympique Marseille, in a crucial tie. After a high-profile trial, during which he suffered betrayal by a former Marseille colleague, Jean-Pierre Vernes, Tapie was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison, one to be suspended.
His appeal relies on a new version of events, according to which he admits for the first time meeting the Valenciennes trainer, but denies instigating any payments. Last week, Tapie threatened legal proceedings over a report in the sports newspaper, l'Equipe, which said that Olympique Marseille under his chairmanship was a money-laundering machine.
The threatened prison sentence seemed to take away some of his flamboyance and he has adopted a low-key approach to his appeal. But scepticism has been expressed about his new image. Some even questioned whether a hospital stay last week might not have been intended to save him from prison on health grounds. In a newspaper interview, Tapie said prison "terrified" him.
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...