Earthquake rocks Monaco’s judiciary

Philippe Narmino. Photo: Kasia Wandycz/Palais Princier
Philippe Narmino. Photo: Kasia Wandycz/Palais Princier

Monaco’s top judicial official has been arrested and placed in custody.

According to a Government statement issued late on Friday, September 22, the prosecutor’s office had opened an investigation against ‘X’ for “trafic d’influence,” a term that in English can cover bribery, corruption or undue use of influence.

The communiqué said that an investigating judge had ordered several lines of enquiry to be opened.

According to Monaco-Matin, on Friday, the judge, Edouard Levreault, ordered the home and office of Philippe Narmino to be searched and Mr Narmino himself was placed in custody, and then later released that night.

On September 12, Mr Narmino had announced his early retirement in order to clear his name over allegations published in the press concerning his relationship with the majority owner of AS Monaco, Dimitri Rybolovlev. He was due to leave office on Saturday, September 23.

This huge scandal is related to the alleged fraud against Mr Rybolovlev involving art dealer Yves Bouvier and touching on Monaco resident Tania Rappo, who strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

In a report published by the reputable French news agency AFP and disseminated widely in the French press, Mr Narmino had enjoyed a weekend in Gstaad in Rybolovlev’s chalet just weeks before the arrest in Monaco of Yves Bouvier as he was on his way to meet the Russian billionaire and art collector in February, 2015.

An exchange of SMS messages involving senior Monaco police officials and Mr Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, has also come under scrutiny in recent weeks.


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