Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, June 2011
Former French Minister Caught sexually Abusing Young Moroccan Boys
Paris Prosecutor Probes Former Minister's Paedophile Orgy Claims
All Africa, 2 June 2011
Police child protection officers are to investigate, after another former minister made extraordinary claims on French television on Monday, triggering more debate over whether politicians are protected by their colleagues and the press.
During a chat show on Canal Plus on Monday, philosopher and former education minister Luc Ferry talked of another former French minister who he said had been caught sexually abusing young boys in Marrakesh.
"There's this story about a former minister who got caught at an orgy with little boys in Marrakesh," he said, before adding "We all know who I'm talking about."
Ferry did not name the alleged paedophile, but said the case was known about "at the highest levels of state", and that French officials worked with Morocco to hush up the scandal and ensure the minister returned safely.
Appearing on TV to discuss issues arising from the accusations faced by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and former civil service minister Georges Tron, his unexpected allegations of paedophilia and a subsequent cover up, have provoked a new storm.
"If anyone thinks he knows about a crime, he should make a complaint and not just blabber to the press," said Foreign Minister Alain Juppé on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a children's rights group said it had filed a complaint in Morocco following the accusations.
"Moroccan courts can summon anybody who has knowledge that a crime has been committed," Yassine Krari, lawyer for the group Touche pas à mes enfants (Hands Off My Children), told RFI.
"Former ministers are not exempt from this obligation to assist the courts. The Moroccan courts will shed light on what happened. The events Ferry alludes to are a crime. And if he knows a crime took place and does not reveal his knowledge of it, then he is committing an offence."
Former minister's allegation of paedophilia investigated
France's former minister of education, Luc Ferry (pictured), has spurred prosecutors in Paris to launch a preliminary inquiry after he alleged that another former government minister had sex with young boys at a Moroccan orgy several years ago.
By News Wires (text), France 24
The French prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation Wednesday after a former government minister alleged that another ex-minister had participated in an orgy with young boys in Morocco.
Former Education Minister Luc Ferry will likely be questioned after alleging during a television show that another minister was caught at an orgy in Marrakech, a judicial official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity since she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The preliminary investigation is aimed at seeking more precise information from Ferry, the official said.
In France, a preliminary investigation is conducted to see if a case should be pursued.
Ferry, who was education minister from 2002 to 2004, did not name the minister or the government in which that minister had served, but said during a television show Monday that he heard about the case from a prime minister. He did not specify which one.
"Me, I know and I think I am not alone," Ferry said on the show on Canal Plus cable TV debating the long-standing French tradition of respect for private lives.
The subject of privacy for public figures has taken a center-stage in the French media since the former leader of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn was widely considered the likely Socialist Party candidate in next year’s presidential elections.
French journalists have long observed a tradition of respect for the private lives of politicians, but the Strauss-Kahn affair has led to soul-searching.
Ferry said the Marrakech incident was recounted to him “by
high authorities of the state, in particular a prime minister.”
However, he added that he wouldn’t name names because he has no
proof and “if I give the name now ... it’s me who would be
(investigated). I would surely be convicted even if I know the
story is true.”
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