French rapper arrested after kicking his dog in video

French rapper Timal was arrested east of Paris on Wednesday after posting a video to Snapchat showing him kicking a dog, police and prosecutors told AFP.

French rapper arrested after kicking his dog in video

The clip showed the 25-year-old musician, real name Ruben Louis, kicking one of his two dogs three times around the head, and bore the caption “you moron”.

Timal was arrested on Wednesday morning in Champs-sur-Marne and his two dogs confiscated, prosecutors in nearby Meaux said, adding that he faced charges of “cruelty towards a domestic animal”.

Several animal rights groups, including France’s oldest, the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) said they had filed complaints.

The latest high-profile animal cruelty case comes  after French footballer Kurt Zouma was in June sentenced to 180 hours’ community service by a British court for abusing his cat, which also came to light in a viral video.

Timal first broke through in February this year with Filtre (Filter), recorded alongside fellow rapper Gazo and which was number one in the charts  for a week in March.

The song has been played more than 52 million times on the world’s top music streaming service Spotify, and almost the same number of times on YouTube.

Five days ago, Timal released a new single, Cameleon alongside veteran rapper Booba.

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Top French central banker in corruption probe

French prosecutors said Friday that they had opened a corruption investigation into top central banker Sylvie Goulard, who simultaneously stepped down from the Bank of France.

Top French central banker in corruption probe

The probe covers suspicions of accepting bribes, influence peddling, illegal conflicts of interest and breach of trust, the national financial prosecutor’s office said, confirming a report from daily Liberation.

Graft-fighting group Anticor triggered the probe by filing a criminal report in June, with the investigation launched in September.

In a statement, the Bank of France said Goulard – a former MEP and briefly defence minister under President Emmanuel Macron in 2017 – would be leaving her post as one of the institution’s deputy governors on December 5.

Returning to the foreign ministry?

She wished to “return to the foreign ministry” where she started her civil service career, the bank said.

A source close to Goulard told AFP that her departure had “nothing to do with the investigation”.

“Neither Sylvie Goulard nor her lawyer were informed that the investigation had been reopened,” the source said.

A previous probe in 2019 was closed the following year after no crime was found, case files seen by AFP showed.

Anticor questioned in its complaint the work Goulard performed for the California-based Berggruen Institute think-tank.

She has acknowledged accepting 10,000 euros ($10,530 at current rates) per month working as a “special adviser” to the Council for the Future of Europe, an offshoot of Berggruen, between 2013 and 2016.

Goulard’s explanation

Goulard, who was also an MEP at the time, said her work had “no relation of any kind with the business activities” of the group’s founder, German-American billionaire Nicolas Berggruen.

She said her role included “reflection, moderating groups, organizing meetings”.

Her lawyer declined to respond Friday when contacted by AFP.

The Berggruen Institute denied in 2019 that Goulard had been given a fake job, highlighting that she organised meetings in Brussels, Paris and Madrid.

Goulard has also been charged in a probe into suspected fake jobs among assistants to MEPs from the Democratic Movement, a small centrist party that supports Macron.