Laurent-Graciet Case: French Appeal Court Turns Down Defendants’ Pleas
A French appeal court has turned down the pleas submitted by two French blackmailers, journalists Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet, requesting the magistrates to discard the audio and video recordings showing them in full extortion acts.
The case of the two French journalists who attempted to blackmail Morocco and King Mohammed VI broke out last year when the two blackmailers were arrested by the French police.
The two journalists had threatened to publish a harmful book on Morocco unless they received €3 million in cash. The case dates back to last July when Eric Laurent contacted the Royal Cabinet and requested a meeting, saying he is about to publish a book on Morocco.
At a meeting in Paris with Morocco’s attorneys, Eric Laurent and the other co-author of the book Catherine Graciet offered to give up the book project for three million Euros.
Rejecting these intimidation tactics, Morocco filed a complaint in France against the two authors. The French police recorded a meeting between the authors and the royal cabinet representative in order to accumulate evidence of extortion.
The judicial investigation, launched by three French judges for attempted extortion and blackmail attempt, led to the capture of the two journalists red-handed, with cash in their pockets, some 40 000 Euros each, a down-payment for an elaborate extortion plan.
The French police also found a letter signed by the gold-digger pair, pledging to never write again about the Moroccan King for the 3 Mln euro ransom.
Extortion in France’s penal code is penalized with up to 7 years in jail and a 100,000 Euro fine. Charges for blackmailing are also punished with up to 5 years in jail and a 75,000 Euro fine.
The two blackmailers have been decried for their unethical behavior by French and Moroccan media as well as by the two countries’ journalists associations and unions.