Takieddine and his friends in high places
Ziad Takieddine is the principal suspect in an ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political funding via French arms sales abroad, in a case known as the ‘Karachi affair’. From 2002, he became a secret advisor and hidden financier at the heart of Nicolas Sarkozy’s political clan, beginning with the latter’s long years of campaigning to become president, and continuing after Sarkozy won the presidency in 2007. A series of previously unpublished photos, revealed in 2011, illustrate what were until then unknown - and for some of those involved, secret – links between the arms dealer and the closed circle of the then-French president’s most trusted staff and allies. They notably concern Brice Hortefeux, a longstanding friend and political servitor of Sarkozy, who held three ministerial posts under his presidency; Thierry Gaubert, another friend of Sarkozy’s who once served as an advisor to him; Jean-François Copé,a former budget minister and the current head of the main, conservative opposition party, the UMP; Dominique Desseigne, heir to the Barrière luxury hotel and casino group (Desseigne married Thierry Gaubert’s ex-wife, Diane Barrière, who died in 2001) and owner of the luxury Paris restaurant Fouquet’s, where Nicolas Sarkozy was later to celebrate his election victory in May 2007; Etienne Mougeotte, former vice-president of French television channel TF1 and currently editor-in-chief of French daily Le Figaro.
Go back to summary: The Takieddine files
Whether it be visiting historical sites in his native Lebanon, or cruising the Mediterranean on his motor yacht, Ziad Takieddine has demonstrated that he knows how to show his friends lavish hospitality, especially those from the world of French politics. On the photos presented here figure Jean-François Copé, Brice Hortefeux, Dominique Desseigne and Thierry Gaubert.
*- Related article: The secret financier who brings danger to the Sarkozy clan
Published here is a selection of photos taken during a grand dinner party thrown by Ziad Takieddine on June 20th 2002 to celebrate the victory of the French conservative right in presidential and legislative elections just days earlier. The guests included Jean-François Copé, newly-appointed government spokesman and who would later become interior minister and subsequently budget minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, newly-appointed Minister for European Affairs and later culture minister, Philippe Séguin, a former minister and conservative political heavyweight who would later become president of the national audit court, Etienne Mougeotte, current editorial director of French daily Le Figaro and who was at the time vice-chairman of TV channel TF1, Claire Chazal, the star anchorwoman of TF1’s primetime evening news programme, Charles Villeneuve, a TF1current affairs journalist and TV programme presenter Carole Rousseau, along with senior civil servants and industrialists.
*- Related article: The arms dealer and his Paris party for the glitterati