Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


French Media Giants Focus On Missing Journalist

French Media Giants Focus On Missing Journalist

Jason Brown - Avaiki News Agency

Two French media giants are marking the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of former Pape'ete editor, Jean-Pascal Couraud, with independent investigations.

Second most popular in French radio, France Inter and leading daily newspaper Le Monde are both set to release indepth reports into allegations of assassination. Reportage seems sure to increase pressure on authorities previously foot dragging their way through official inquiries, now in their third year.

Couraud disappeared nearly one decade ago, on Monday night of 15th December 1997.


Initial findings of suicide remained unchallenged until October 2004.

Vetea Guilloux, a presidential security agent, told the administration of Oscar Temaru, then new, about widespread espionage activities in his surveillance section. Including, allegedly, overhearing colleagues boast about the mafia-style drowning of the investigative journalist - known by his byline "JPK".

Like Watergate, L'Affair JPK is becoming known for the crime as much as the coverup.


Low level inquiries attracted extraordinary resistance from inside the justice system. The original investigatory magistrate was sidelined by corruption allegations appearing out of nowhere; a replacement was appointed direct from Paris.

The new magistrate toyed coyly for two years before publicly declaring his desire to be relieved of the file, while privately instructing a commissioner of police to stop accepting any more evidence relating to Jean-Pascal Couraud.

Far from stopping, the inquiry has slowed down only to envelope an astonishingly large affair at the world's largest clearing bank, Clearstream. Similar to Enron - but one thousand times bigger, at roughly 1.5 trillion euros - Clearstream I and II emerged in 2001 when a former bank executive turned whistleblower.


As might be understood, official inquiries into Clearstream proceed slowly. Links with JPK emerged earlier this year, when a satirical newspaper, The Blue Dog, published copies of accounts of a bank in Japan with US $70 million in the names of Jacques Chirac and Gaston Flosse.

The papers were matched with those found in a dossier of documents collected privately by a former general of French secret services, regarding Clearstream, and 33,000 secret bank accounts run out of the clearing house under a secondary banking system.

From a small if deadly scandal on the far frontiers of the free French, L'Affair JPK has unexpectedly grown big enough to cause at least a few cracks in presidential masonry.


Not least because of the election of a former Chirac protege, Nicholas Sarkozy, now fairly bitter foes.

New president Nicholas Sarkozy marked a visit to Algiers this week by saying he "condemns" corruption during administration of the former French colony, directly attacking the record of once revered leaders who annointed Chirac.

In Tahiti, the renewed presidency of Oscar Temaru expressed hope Sarkozy would recognise similar circumstances when he visits French Polynesia next year.


There are signs he will.

In Paris, justice officials defied an aura of high-level immunity claimed for Chirac, charging him on 21st November 2007 with embezzlement over 20 fake jobs he gave out when he was mayor of the city.

Not so much a case of fresh independence of the French magistrates, perhaps, as a case of anti-Chirac officials finally getting their turn on the judicial merry-go-round.


News today will only reinforce that impression.

An appeal court in Paris has confirmed similar findings against Flosse and a folder of fake jobs worth EU 2.5 million - after corruption complaints laid in 2004 by the new Temaru government.

A few fake jobs might not seem a big deal, especially against a background of seemingly enormous scandal but like mafia investigators in the United States, sometimes you have to go with the small stuff; tax evasion, not assassination.


Attention from Le Monde and France Inter may yet prompt progress towards a different outcome.

Just how far remains doubtful.

After all, behind the scandals lies Paris, at the heart of European 'diplomacy' for centuries, a global centre for secret societies stretching back into mists of history. And, like Chirac, Sarkozy has fat cat friends of his own.


communique from the jpk support committee
committee welcomes new rulings on l'affair JPK

jpk support committee: pursue legal action

soutienjpk comite l'instruction doit se poursuivre...

candy flosse solution

a tahiti, le "compte japonais" invoqué dans une
clearstream fallout goes galactic

clearstream dwarfs enron
tahiti link to trillion dollar fraud clearstream
letter to justice minister grabs French media
letter from jpk committee
magazine takes aim at new president
brother of dead journalist sacked on st. valentine

jpk witnesses die "strange" deaths
justice officials block inquiry say family
radio new zealand international affair JPK
transcript of tf1 doco on jpk
exposing jpk founding editorial


french media giants focus on jpk


jason brown
avaiki news agency

Project JPK

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>

Keith Rankin: 'Influenza' Pandemics In New Zealand's Past
On Tuesday (16 Nov) I was concerned to hear this story on RNZ's Checkpoint (National distances itself from ex-MP after video with discredited academic). My concern here is not particularly with the "discredited academic", although no academic should suffer this kind of casual public slur. (Should we go further and call Simon Thornley, the academic slurred, a 'trailing epidemiologist'? In contrast to the epithet 'leading epidemiologist', as applied to Rod Jackson in this story from Newshub.) Academics should parley through argument, not insult... More>>

Digitl: When the internet disappears
Kate Lindsay writes about The internet that disappears. at Embedded. She says all that talk about the internet being forever is wrong. Instead: "...It’s on more of like a 10-year cycle. It’s constantly upgrading and migrating in ways that are incompatible with past content, leaving broken links and error pages in its wake. In other instances, the sites simply shutter, or become so layered over that finding your own footprint is impossible... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>