The Woerth affair, some interesting details

In this French affair in which a french minister would have played go-between in a scheme to transfer
money from one of the richest families of France (Bettencourt) and the now elect President Sarkozy
there are masses of articles and opinions being written.
Some interesting details shouldn't get lost.

1. When someone becomes minister or part of an administration he or she should first make sure that there
is no possibility of any question about impartiality. THe most extreme procedures are to be found in the US.
But they are the most clear and may have prevented already hundreds of scandals.
Being a minister responsable for Fiscal controls while your wife works for one of the biggest family fortunes
in France is just a scandal waiting to burst.

2. The scandal broke out when transcripts of illegally taped private conversation between Mdm Betancourt and her
accountants and family were published. It is not clear who has installed the bugging devices, who has used the
transcripts for which reason and who transmitted them at the press. It is clear in those transcripts that the family
had set up some tax-evasion methods.
At one side one wants to use this information to get justice done.
At the other side do we want that anybody could place anywhere bugging devices or hidden camera's in any house or office and use (part of) these transcripts to get people be prosecuted.
In a state of law it is up for the police- and intelligence services to set up such special investigation methods
under the control of the law and a judge. If other services are installing these bugging devices they can maybe use
it for intelligence gathering but they can't do anything with it.

3. It shows that a journalistic medium that is paid by its readers can be succesfull if they do real investigative
work that the other papers have forgotten to do (or to coninue after the publication of the first scoop).
It shows that people are willing to pay for something that gives them more than only 'news', 'facts' 'reporting'
that in fact gives us nothing new. Investigative journalism means getting information that otherwise will not be
published and secondly continuing to explore the subject.

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