Al Jazeera French offices raided following Canal Plus complaint

Charles Biétry, the head of Al Jazeera’s French sports channels beIN Sport, has revealed that French police raided his offices last week following a complaint by Canal Plus that the Qatar-backed broadcaster had engaged in malpractices in poaching Canal Plus staff.

Interviewed by Libération, Biétry, a former head of sports at Canal Plus, said that police had searched his office. He said that beIN Sport had recruited only eight Canal Plus staffers, including two star presenters, out of a total of over 2,000 who worked for the pay TV operator. Biétry said he was unconcerned by the incident and was focusing on the forthcoming launch of the beIN Sport channels, the first of which is set to go on air this Friday.

Canal Plus is reportedly considering lodging a complaint against Al Jazeera.

Separately, Al Jazeera has denied having any plans to launch a French-language news channel, reported yesterday. A spokesman for the broadcaster told AFP that Al Jazeera had no plans to launch a French channel based in Dakar or anywhere else.