Rabat - French journalist Eric Laurent reportedly tried to blackmail King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
Rabat – French journalist Eric Laurent reportedly tried to blackmail King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
French authorities on Thursday arrested 68-year-old Eric Laurent who attempted to extort King Mohammed VI of Morocco by threatening to publish a new book about the monarch, unless he was paid a whopping three million Euros to remain silent.
Laurent, a former reporter of Radio France and the writer of many books about Morocco and its rulers, reportedly contacted the office of King Mohammed VI to ask for a meeting regarding a book about the Moroccan sovereign that is due to hit the bookshop shelves.
According to French media reports, a first meeting took place on August 11 between Eric Laurent and Eric Dupond-Moretti, a French lawyer hired by Morocco. During the meting, the French journalist solicited the massive amount of money for not publishing his latest book about the Moroccan monarch.
Following the second meeting, Moroccan authorities lodged a complaint with the Paris prosecutor.
The French journalist had a second meeting with the Moroccan lawyer on August 21. During the meeting, which was under police surveillance this time, Laurent repeated his demands for the three million Euros in exchange for not publishing the book. As soon as the proof of blackmail was established, the Paris Public Prosecutor’s department appointed three judges to open a criminal investigation into the case.
A third meeting took place on August 27. This time around, Laurent agreed to lower his demand to two million Euros transaction and 80,000 Euros in advance in exchange for waiving his ‘right’ to write the book.
According to RTL, Eric Laurent was later arrested at a restaurant in the French capital, accompanied, by his co-author, Catherine Graciet, who was also working on the book.