The weekly has been in turmoil since the publication on its site of an article accusing Raquel Garrido, 48, and Alexis Corbière, 54, of exploiting an undocumented Algerian cleaning lady. The journalist from Point Aziz Zemouri, author of the article, was laid off and summoned to an interview prior to a possible dismissal, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned on Friday June 24 from concordant sources, confirming release information.

Contacted by AFP, the journalist presented his “sincerest apologies” to the couple of Nupes-LFI deputies from Seine-Saint-Denis, believing that they had been “victim of manipulation”. Asked by AFP, the management of Le Point did not wish to comment on this information.

Very rare, the article was withdrawn on Thursday from the site of the weekly, the director of Le Point, Etienne Gernelle, acknowledging “errors and breaches of caution” and apologizing to deputies and readers.

“Diligent internal investigation of the “Point””

“An internal investigation by Point has been carried out,” Aziz Zemouri told AFP on Friday. “I also carried out further investigations which led me to find inconsistencies which lead me to believe that I was the victim of manipulation,” he said.

“It’s not just Whatsapp messages that have been commented on and disputed,” he added, referring to screenshots supporting his article, the authenticity of which has been questioned by experts in the field. digital. “It seems well orchestrated to me. To that extent, I sincerely apologize to Raquel Garrido and Alexis Corbière. The only point that comforts me is that I did not allow this erroneous information to influence the polls” of the legislative elections, he concluded. On Thursday, he told AFP that he was “convinced of the truth of the facts”.

That same day, Raquel Garrido had demanded on Twitter the “immediate dismissal” of the journalist, citing “indelible” wrong. Her husband had also demanded “sanctions”, in the name of the “honor of the profession” of journalism. The couple’s lawyer, Me Xavier Sauvignet, then informed AFP that he was preparing two complaints, one for public defamation and another against X for forgery and use of forgery and identity theft.

In June 2021, Le Point and Mr. Zemouri were convicted of defamation after an article by the latter. He described actress Sand Van Roy as a former call girl, who accused filmmaker Luc Besson of rape and sexual assault.

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