Two French journalists have gone on trial in France on charges of trying to blackmail the king of Morocco – allegedly demanding money to hush purportedly damaging revelations about him. Eric Laurent, 75, and Catherine Graciet, 48, are accused of demanding €2million in 2015 in exchange for halting the publication of a book about the Moroccan royal family.
Both writers, who face up to five years in jail and €75,000 in fines if found guilty, have denied any wrongdoing and say it was a lawyer representing the Moroccan royal family who first offered them the money.
In court on Monday Laurent admitted to an “ethical error“, a “disaster” in having accepted to “let myself be caught up in this affair”, but denied having committed “any criminal offence”.
Co-author Graciet said that the Moroccan envoy “seduced me with his financial offer, I took the plunge and I regret it”.