A report broadcast today by the France2 TV channel’s investigative programme “Envoyé Spécial” challenges the official account of the murders of Dupont and Verlon, who worked for Radio France Internationale.
The official investigation has stalled because of the limited judicial cooperation between the French and Malian governments. The French government has classified many relevant documents as “defence secrets,” thereby preventing their use by the judicial authorities, while the security situation in northern Mali has prevented any visit to the murder scene. No witness has ever been questioned.
Geoffrey Livolsi, one of the journalists who did the “Envoyé Spécial” report, told RFI this morning that most of the people they tried to speak to “both in France and in Mali and Niger” had been contacted by the “the local intelligence services, who had made it clear to them that they should not speak to France2’s journalists.”
The “Envoyé Spécial” reporters were also unable to get the French authorities to give them an interview or provide any comment.
“This case continues to be shrouded in complete darkness,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We want answers and more transparency in the handling of this investigation. There are people who have information. They must be questioned by judicial officials so that we can finally find out the truth.”
RSF registered as in interested civil party in this case in France on 13 January. The same day, it joined the Association of Friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon and RFI’s Society of Journalists in staging a protest outside the main law courts in central Paris to demand progress in the investigation.
Mali is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. France is ranked 45th.