Le juge Van Ruymbeke en charge de Sygma-Corbis
Renaud Van Ruymbeke © Joël Saget / AFP
Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke appointed to Sygma-Corbis Affair
Almost one year ago, La Lettre broke the news of a complaint filed by five former photographers from Sygma photo agency, accusing the agency of organizing a fraudulent bankruptcy, misuse of public funds, and a breach of trust with the company Corbis, which is owned by Bill Gates. This complaint went unanswered. It was known that it was being reviewed by the financial bureau of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, but they are overwhelmed with such complaints. To expedite the process, Mr. Hugot, the lawyer representing the photographers (Aubert, Hudson, Ledru, Milner and La Lettre contributor Philippot) filed a new civil complaint. The advantage of this kind of complaint is that it triggers the opening of a preliminary investigation into a possible criminal trial. The prosecutor then appoints a judge to gather all the elements necessary for the discovery of the truth. Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke was born August 19, 1952 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He specialized in financial corruption. His past cases have included investigations into the death of former minister Robert Boulin (1979), the secret funding of the French Socialist Party (1992), and the Jérôme Kerviel and Taiwan frigates scandals. His expertise in international finance will be useful in untangling the web of Sygma-Corbis, Corbis France and Corbis Corporation.