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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.
The government has reported the death of an 87-year-old woman with Covid-19, marking the 9th coronavirus fatality in Monaco since the pandemic began and the 6th since the new year.
Monaco’s Antonio Salvatore has gained a Michelin star for the five-table fine dining restaurant he created less than 12 months ago in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Organisers of the 114th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters are “hopeful” the event will go ahead in April, despite delaying ticket sales for the popular tennis tournament.
The first regatta of the year in the Principality was won by an Italian team captained by Claudia Rossi on the Petite Terrible-Adria Ferries at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.