2 French journalists under arrest, accused of trying to blackmail Morocco’s king

The Paris prosecutor’s office and a lawyer for Morocco’s King Mohammed VI say two French journalists have been arrested in France for allegedly trying to blackmail the monarch.

The prosecutor’s office said the two, Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet, remained in detention Friday.

Eric Dupont-Moretti, a lawyer for the king, told RTL radio Thursday that Laurent claimed he and Graciet were writing a compromising book about the monarch and demanded 3 million euros ($3.4 million) to keep it unpublished.

Dupont-Moretti said the Moroccan leadership filed a lawsuit in Paris and the arrests came after a sting operation.

The king has built a reputation as a moderate, modern leader, though journalists in Morocco have been jailed for criticizing him.

Laurent and Graciet co-wrote a book in 2012 about the king.

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