Ursula von der Leyen case: when the French media disregard the duty to inform

ER Editor: As this article concerns French media, let us be reminded that the French government and established media went after RT relentlessly, to the point where it was forced to go into receivership and stop publishing as of this past April 7. It was one of the few media places in France where you could be certain that the Yellow Vest protests or protests against any manner of problem in France would be covered sincerely by local journalists.

You can get RT in English, German, Spanish and Arabic, but not French. It’s left a hole in the media fabric here. By design.


See this story we published on this Belgian case against von der Leyen brought by Frederic Baldan on April 20 —

Von der Leyen Has Another Criminal Complaint Over Her Pfizer Text Messages


Ursula von der Leyen case: when the French media disregard the duty to inform


JUSTICE –  After a criminal complaint filed in Belgium against the President of the European Commission, the so-called SMS case is taking a new turn. 

The judge in charge of the investigation will now have access to the messages exchanged on the sly between Ursula von der Leyen and Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer. Due to a suspicion of negotiation “outside the framework” of a mega-contract for the purchase of vaccines, not delivering these SMS (text messages) considered to be administrative documents would constitute a criminal offense. In the event of their destruction, President von der Leyen, as the depository of public authority, will have to explain herself to the courts. The rebound of this case, which could reveal the existence of “a corruption pact,” according to French lawyer Diane Protat, is not mentioned in the French press, with rare exceptions including France-Soir and l’Humanité. 
But where did the duty to inform go? 
from the Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen, April 19, 2023, in Belfast (Northern Ireland).

Certainly, the contracts for vaccines negotiated by SMS interposed between Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Albert Bourla, President of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, have caused a lot of ink to flow.

Several articles were concerned with detailing the administrative intricacies of the file, when MEPs invited, twice and without success, the CEO of Pfizer to come and explain himself to the European Parliament.

Conflicts of interest? Corruption?

Since October 2022, an investigation has been underway within the European authorities themselves. Subsequently, in December, the BonSens association initiated proceedings before the Court of the State of New York in order to obtain the publication of the famous text messages, which fuel serious suspicions of conflicts of interest, even corruption against the President of the European Commission.

Indeed, no official document relates exactly the official conditions of the negotiation of the gigantic third contract for the purchase of Pfizer vaccines, relating to 1.8 billion doses, for an amount greater than 70 billion euros.

Although this approach was not widely covered by the press, on January 25, 2023, the New York Times  (NYT) in turn sued the European Commission, with a similar objective.

On April 5, 2023, lobbyist Frédéric Baldan filed a new complaint, this time criminal in Belgium, before the investigating judge Frenay in Liège. His complaint directly concerns the question of the third contract for the purchase of vaccines and the fact that, clearly, its negotiation was conducted outside the usual framework for negotiating this type of contract, bypassing a steering committee responsible for evaluating the bids. However, Ursula von der Leyen has no mandate authorizing her to intervene in this type of market.

Belgian law benefits from a special feature. A holder of public authority who infringes a right guaranteed by the constitution in an arbitrary manner risks a prison sentence (article 151 of the penal code). In this case, the right to let every citizen have access to administrative documents.

A complaint with automatic civil action (unlike in France, the decision to seize the prosecution by the judge is not to be expected) is therefore registered for usurpation of functions, usurpation of title, destruction of public documents, illegal taking of interests and corruption.

This case is a real earthquake on the European political scene, already impacted by suspicions of corruption against the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakidou and the QatarGate scandal.


While the European authorities did not want to allow citizens to shed light on the expensive purchase conditions of vaccines, a judicial solution could therefore have been found at the level of a State and its jurisdiction, in this case Belgium.

In addition, around ten European States, including Poland and Bulgaria, are now questioning the purchase price of the doses and are worried about the obligation to recommend products which, beyond their effectiveness real or not, are no longer of any use when the epidemic phenomenon of Covid-19 is over.

In France, 46 million doses remain on the arms of the health administration and will be wasted. These are more than 30 million doses in Italy and more than 10 million in Belgium. A real mess. How can you support – or have you been able to support the idea – of having to buy back additional doses under penalty of being prosecuted for non-compliance with a commercial contract… which no one can consult? Or, worse, who would hold an agreement as secret as complicit [sic], concluded in the course of sending a text message?

This situation, to the advantage of the pharmaceutical industry, and mainly of Pfizer, which raided more than three-quarters of the sales contracts, makes the European deputy for Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) Michèle Rivasi say:

“It seems that it is the pharmaceutical laboratories that have held the pen at the level of the European Commission”. 

The member was able to express herself and detail the case with our colleagues from Humanity, which has been conducting the investigation on their YouTube channel for several weeks. Current values/Valeurs Actuelles ​​addressed the subject in a column by Patricia de Sagazan. The European news site Euractiv processed the information. Sud-Radio covered this news  thanks to André Bercoff, leaving the floor to Maître Protat and Frédéric Baldan.

And that’s about all, with the exception of France-Soir, of course, which has been following this legal soap opera from the start.

A disastrous silence for democracy

A soap opera that could become a major legal and political scandal.

Indeed, the President of the European Commission, who already has a troubled past with German justice when she was Minister of Defence, has shown many disturbing signs of friendship towards Albert Bourla.

The nature of the text messages exchanged must be exposed to the public so as not to further discredit the European institutions, short-circuited by the sole desire of von der Leyen to deal unilaterally with this affair. European institutions which clearly suffer from a worrying structural weak point, that of being too exposed to the power of industrial and financial lobbies.

Since the start of the health crisis in 2020, the French media have shown disarming inactivity on these issues. The deontology relating to the Munich Charter, which must guarantee citizens objective and factual information about the dangers that threaten public affairs and the common interest, has been forgotten.

This silence is serious for democracy and the stability of the political sphere in Europe. While the mistrust of citizens towards the media continues to increase in France, this unfortunate situation also harms the image of France, without reaction to the shortcomings of the supranational institutions which now largely govern it.




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