Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/11 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/11 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/11 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/11 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/11 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/10 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/10 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/09 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/10 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/10 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/10 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/09 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/10 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/10 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/10 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

France denies paying ransom to Syrian Islamists for freed journalists

media L-R: Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Pierre Torrès and Nicolas Henin AFP

The French government has denied paying a ransom to free four journalists who had been held by an Islamist group in Syria for 10 months. German magazine Focus claimed that Ffance paid 18 million dollars (13 million euros) via the Turkish secret services.

The government “categorically” denied Focus’s report, recalling Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius’s assertion that “The French government does not pay ransoms” last Saturday when the four were confirmed to have been freed.

Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin and Pierre Torrès were kidnapped while working in Syria in June and held by an Islamist armed group.

“Eighteen milion dollars, that’s flattering!” Torrès declared on Saturday, adding that he was “convinced that it was not France that paid”.

Focus, citing Nato sources in Brussels, claimed that Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian personally took the money to Ankara during the week before the hostages were freed and that it was passed on to the kidnappers by the Turkish secret services.

“Everything was done through negotiation, discussion,” Fabius insisted last week.

President François Hollande has publicly ruled out France paying ransoms for hostages, a practice that is often criticised as encouraging further abductions, but there have been unconfirmed reports of cash being handed over in previous cases.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.