Former French President Francois Hollande has been questioned as a witness as part of an inquiry into the murder of two journalists in Mali in 2013, local media reported on Monday.
French judges heard the former Socialist Party head of state on January 11 over “off the record” conversations he had with the reporters’ relatives in private, during which he gave information about their murder, France Info radio reported.
The report added that investigating judges also questioned Bernard Bajolet, the ex-chief of the DGSE external intelligence services, on December 10, 2018.
Claude Verlon, 58, and Ghislaine Dupont, 51, both journalists at RFI radio, were found dead shortly after being abducted in the town of Kidal in Mali on November 2, 2013.
Details of why the journalists were killed remained unclear, according to the report.
Backed by the United Nations Security Council, then president Hollande gave the green light on January 11, 2013, to French troops to intervene via air and ground in the Malian crisis with the aim of helping local authorities wrest control of the country’s northern region seized by Islamist armed fighters.