France’s top financial prosecutor said Wednesday that investigations into the organization of the 2024 Paris Olympics have not revealed any serious corruption or influence peddling, and that his goal is not to disrupt the event. Speaking in an interview with RTL radio, Jean-Francois Bohnert said the potential infractions currently investigated by the financial prosecutor’s office are “mainly formal.”
“It’s about favoritism, of illegal interest-taking,” he said. “It’s about the way certain contracts have been distributed, the arrangements… But I don’t see any elements, at least not at this stage, that would lead the investigation towards the most serious cases of corruption or influence peddling.”
French police searched the Paris Olympic organizing committee headquarters in June as part of corruption investigations into contracts linked to the event.
The search and other related raids were linked to two preliminary investigations of the Paris Olympics. One probe was opened in 2017 — the year Paris was picked by the International Olympic Committee as the 2024 host — and the other began last year.
Asked whether arrests could take place during the Olympics, Bonhert said the office wants to “ensure the smooth running of what is going to be a global event” and a “universal party.”
“It’s not up to us to come and disrupt that order,” he added. “And that’s why we started early enough. The searches that took place were carried out more than a year before the start of the Games.”
The probe, opened in 2017, is looking into suspected embezzlement of public funds and favoritism, and concerns about an unspecified contract reached by Paris organizers, the prosecutor’s office said in June.
The 2022 investigation followed an audit by the French Anti-Corruption Agency. The prosecutor’s office said that the case targets suspected conflict of interest and favoritism involving several contracts reached by the organizing committee and Solideo, the public body in charge of Olympic infrastructure.
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