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FRANCE – Case Isabelle Adjani: Senegalese businessman Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye cited

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French actress Isabelle Adjani will be tried on 19 October 2023 by the Paris Criminal Court for tax fraud and money laundering. The 68-year-old multi-award-winning actress is accused of defrauding the tax authorities in 2013, 2016 and 2017 through two mechanisms. First she is accused of having concealed «a donation of two million euros from the president of the Senegalese National Olympic and Sports Committee (Cnoss) Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, under cover of a loan, having allowed her to avoid 1.2 million euros of transfer duties» ; and then to have fictitiously domiciled in Portugal, thus allowing him to «evade 236.000 euros of income tax», detailed a judicial source taken up by the French press. Wrongful and disproportionate prosecutions, according to Isabelle Adjani’s lawyers.

The name of the extremely wealthy and influential businessman, President of the Senegalese National Olympic and Sports Committee (Cnoss) and member of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, is cited in the case of Isabelle Adjani accused of tax fraud and money laundering in France. According to judicial sources cited by the French press, it was the president of the organizing committee of the Youth Olympic Games (Joj), scheduled for 2026 in Senegal, who made a donation of two million euros or about 1,3 billion CFA to the French actress and singer.

Five Caesar actress Isabelle Adjani, known for her roles in many films such as «The Deadly Summer», «The Queen Margot» or «Mascarade (2022)», will be tried on 19 October by the Paris Criminal Court for tax fraud and money laundering. «Isabelle Adjani contests the alleged crimes and has committed no offence», his lawyers Mes Julie Freal-Saison and Cédric Labrousse reacted to Afp, denouncing «unfounded and disproportionate prosecutions».

2 million euros hidden
Aged 68, the actress and singer is accused of defrauding the tax authorities in 2013, 2016 and 2017 through two mechanisms. It concealed «a donation of two million euros from Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, under cover of a loan, having allowed her to evade 1.2 million euros of transfer duties» and it fictitiously domiciled in Portugal, allowing her to«evading €236,000 in income tax», a judicial source told Afp on Tuesday.

Diagna Ndiaye, godfather of the actress’s son
But his lawyers are reporting. «The French tax authorities are trying by all means to requalify this loan as a donation despite the repayments made for years», denounced the advice of Isabelle Adjani who «are therefore surprised by this relentlessness», stating that Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye is also the godfather of the actress’s son.

In any case, the actress will also be tried for laundering, of the facts committed between the United States and Portugal in 2014. It is suspected that it had ‘transited through an unreported US bank account to the tax authorities the sum of €119,000 from an offshore company to the unknown beneficial owner for an investment in Portugal’, developed the judicial source.

According to the French newspaper «Le Figaro», the investigation was opened in 2016 following the revelations of the Panama papers on a system of tax evasion via accounts in tax havens. Isabelle Adjani, the newspaper notes, was quoted as the owner of a company in the British Virgin Islands. Before him, the weekly «L’Express» had revealed the existence of this investigation conducted by the Central Office for Combating Corruption and Financial and Tax Offences (Oclciff) around this offshore company Deckert Investments Limited founded with the support of Mossack Fonseca and registered in July 2014.

Although the investigations did not identify any financial flows related to this offshore company, they did, however, reveal facts of tax fraud and money laundering, the judicial source said. At the end of the preliminary investigation and after considering the arguments of the defense, the National Finance Prosecutor’s Office sent Isabelle Adjani a summons to appear before the Paris Correctional Court on 19 October.

In another legal proceeding, Isabelle Adjani was indicted in October 2020 for fraud after a former consultant complained that she had sent him false proof of repayment of the 157,000 euros she owed him.

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FRANCE – A French national arrested in Niamey

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Stéphane Jullien was arrested on Friday, 08 September 2023 in Niamey. This French national has lived in Niger for eighteen years. He is the advisor of the French abroad in the country.

According to RFI, his arrest occurred while he was leaving the French Embassy. The Nigerien security forces found in his vehicle several cases including uniforms in the colors of the Burkina Faso army, says the same source.

Detained at the Niamey Prison

This import-export entrepreneur is held at the Niamey Prison. According to a French diplomatic source, Mr Jullien is accused of “complicity in the attack on the security of the territory”.

His case is managed by the Directorate General of External Security, according to RFI. This structure would be attached to the Nigerien Presidency.

“Our embassy is mobilized to ensure consular protection for our compatriot”

Yesterday Tuesday, September 12, Paris demanded his «immediate release» via a statement made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. «Since the first day, our embassy has been fully mobilized to ensure consular protection for our compatriot» assures the Quai d’Orsay.

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EUROPE

FRANCE – The government formally bans Abaya at school

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The wearing of the abaya will be banned at school in France, announced the Minister of National Education Gabriel Attal, a decision made in the name of secularism and supposed to put an end to the controversies around this traditional long dress worn by some Muslim students. «I decided that we could no longer wear abaya to school,» Gabriel Attal told TF1 on Sunday, August 28, 2023.

The minister, who had since he took office this summer, wished firmness on questions of secularism, had judged that going to school in abaya was «a religious gesture, aiming to test the resistance of the Republic on the secular sanctuary that the School must constitute», promising firmness about it. «You enter a classroom, you must not be able to identify the religion of the students by watching them», he explained Sunday on TF1. The question of this traditional garment is sensitive, the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) believes that the abaya, a long dress covering the female body, is not a Muslim religious sign. Its port is «more ambivalent than a veil» according to Haoues Seniguer, lecturer at the IEP of Lyon and specialist in Islamism.

In France, according to the law of 15 March 2004, «in public schools, colleges and high schools, the wearing of signs or dress by which students ostensibly manifest a religious affiliation is prohibited», a circular specifying these signs «the Islamic veil (..) the kippa or a cross of manifestly excessive dimension». The National Education had already seized the abaya in November, in a circular that considered this garment – like bandanas and long skirts, also cited – as outfits that can be prohibited if they are «worn so as to manifest ostensibly a religious affiliation».

The predecessor of Gabriel Attal, Pap Ndiaye, questioned by the unions of heads of establishment on the increase of the incidents related to these outfits, had however refused to «publish endless catalogues to specify the lengths of dresses».
increased attacks on secularism.

According to a note from the state services, of which AFP has obtained a copy, the attacks on secularism, much more numerous since the assassination in 2020 around his college of Professor Samuel Paty, increased by 120% between the academic year 2021/2022 and 2022/2023. The wearing of signs and clothing, which represents the majority of attacks, increased by more than 150% throughout the last school year.

The minister wanted to pay tribute on Sunday to the heads of schools “who are on the front line on these questions of secularism”, and promised to meet “as early as next week (…) to give them all the keys so that they can enforce this rule”. Bruno Bobkiewicz, Secretary General of the National Union of Management Personnel of the National Education Authority, responded to AFP, “The instruction was not clear now and we welcome it.” “Now that the message is out, it has to be implemented in the institutions (…) the heads of schools must not be alone against the abayas,” he added.

On the opposition side, the decision was applauded on the right, with Eric Ciotti (LR) leading on X (formerly Twitter): «We had repeatedly called for the ban of abayas in our schools. I welcome the decision of the Minister of National Education, who agrees with us.” On the left, however, Clémentine Autain (LFI) was outraged by the «clothing police», judging «unconstitutional» the announcement of Gabriel Attal, «contrary to the founding principles of secularism. Symptomatic of the obsessive rejection of Muslims.

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EUROPE

FRANCE – Juan Branco after the release of Ismaëla Madior Fall: “He lies about the penal code of his own country”

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The exit of the Senegalese Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Ismaëla Madior Fall announcing that the conviction of Ousmane Sonko in the case of morals which opposed him to Adji Sarr, surprised more than one. The French lawyer of Pastef’s leader, Juan Branco, was quick to react. On his account X (ex-Twitter), he retorts that the minister “lies about the penal code of his own country”, in a post he titled: “Plunged into the logic of an authoritarian power”

“In an interview with Jeune Afrique, this Thursday, August 31, 2023, the Senegalese Minister of Justice lies about the penal code of his own country,” the lawyer wrote.

Who seems to be surprised by this release of the minister. It is particularly revealing to see a Keeper of the Seals pronounce on an individual case in a foreign media, and even more, to see him lie about it in a shameless way”.

Before attacking the press that published the interview. It is also significant to see which medium is used for this purpose, in this case, a «press» organ that has long survived only thanks to the sale of advertorials in honor of the potentates of françafrique”.

According to the lawyer, Mr. SONKO is the main opponent of the Senegalese government, “whose president is a close ally of Emmanuel Macron”. Juan Branco: “Mr. SONKO, immensely popular, is an icon of the fight against corruption and françafrique, and threatens powerful interests. This led him to unfair proceedings, including rape charges for which he was acquitted, and to be sentenced in his absence to two years in prison for an offence for which he was not charged. This sentence, which is supposed to make him ineligible if it becomes final, was handed down on 1 June”.He also accused the government of wanting to make his client ineligible. Power has long sought to render ineligible, Mr. SONKO. Thus, a first defamation case was heard manu militari for this purpose, without success at this stage. This is how this new case tries to be used as a pretext to remove him from the electoral lists and thus prevent him from running in the elections of February 2024,” he said.

“In the meantime, he added, Mr. SONKO was arrested and detained for other reasons. The case is guignolesque: the Prosecutor initially justified his arrest by invoking a theft of mobile phone (sic), before, once the man placed in custody, to charge him with crimes of violation of state security, call for insurrection, terrorism, etc. It must be strange, for a presidential favourite, to pass in a few hours from a thief to a terrorist. Mr. SONKO, sent to pre-trial detention, immediately went on hunger strike and is currently in intensive care.” He believes that the Senegalese authorities are trying to save face.” Those authorities who have detained between 1,600 and 1,800 political prisoners, including lawyers, journalists, elected officials and activists, and who are piling them up in inhumane conditions, have since faced intense international pressure, and therefore try to save face”.

He recalled that: “Senegal has long been considered the pearl of law, an example in Africa. It is therefore very important to maintain appearances”.

According to him, “this is the meaning of this meeting of the Minister of Justice, sent to the front to convince the international opinion that everything is normal”.

Let’s deconstruct it patiently.
“The Senegalese law provides that when you have been tried in your absence, your arrest or constitution as a prisoner immediately annihilates the sentence in absentia of which you were the subject, so that a new trial is organized in accordance with your rights”says Branco.

Who adds: “It is a real rock in the shoe of power, because if they had to restart new procedures, they could not lead to a definitive condemnation before the elections of February 2024, and therefore prevent Mr. SONKO from being a candidate”.

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