TF1 Chief Released In Bribery Case

Patrick Le Lay, chairman of France’s most popular television network TF1, was released from police custody Nov. 8 after a second day of questioning over allegations that the web paid bribes to France’s national lottery organization.

On Nov. 7, French police searched Le Lay’s penthouse offices at TFl’s headquarters as well as his home, before taking the TF1 boss to a nearby police station. Under French law the maximum time Le Lay could be held without being indicted is 48 hours.

TF1 sources said late Nov. 7 that Le Lay had been released and had returned to his home. They refused further comment. Contacted by Variety, the office of investigating magistrate Gerard Poirotte also refused to discuss the case but did say that if the evidence justified such a move Le Lay could be indicted at a later date.

It was not clear late Nov. 8 whether, having been questioned by the police, Le Lay would be called upon to meet directly with investigating magistrate Poirotte for further questioning.

Le Lay’s brush with the police centers around an ongoing inquiry by Poirotte into the operations of national lottery organization Francaise des Jeux and particularly the FDJ’s former head Gerard Cole.

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