Hollande questioned over Mali murders


A French judge questioned former French President Francois Hollande as a witness as part of an investigation into the assassination of two journalists in Mali in 2013, a member of Hollande’s staff said.

RFI Radio journalists Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were kidnapped and killed in Kidal in November2013 by suspected Islamist militants. Their bodies were recovered near the four-wheel drive vehicle used by their abductors.

Hollande and ex-DGSE external intelligence services chief Bernard Bajolet were questioned twice about statements the president made in private to journalists that appeared to contradict the investigation.

France led a military campaign in January 2013 to clear Islamist militants from the north of the country after they threatened to invade Bamako, an intervention France said was largely successful.

The two reporters were interviewing Tuareg separatists rebels before they were kidnapped.